Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 2, 2023

Black and white logo of The Sentencing Project

Woman holding a child with text that says October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a red Take Action button


Source: Sentencing Project: Alexandra Bailey Senior Campaign Strategist

[Trigger warning: The content below may contain triggering and/or sensitive material about abuse, violence, and death.The story below might be hard to read, but it’s important. It demonstrates why I’m so passionate about the work we are doing to support domestic violence survivors and how our progress can challenge mass incarceration. Please engage in self-care as you read this email.]

Throughout the year and especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I reflect on how mass incarceration harms survivors of domestic violence. Domestic violence survivors are too often punished by a criminal legal system that claims to protect them, even when they’re fighting to save their own lives. Mass incarceration is driven by extreme, unnecessary punishments like this

Your contribution can help someone like Keabreauna. Keabreauna was attacked by her former partner during the final months of her pregnancy. During the struggle, she killed him to protect herself and her unborn child. However, she received a life sentence for second-degree murder. She was forced to give birth in prison and spent little time with her infant before they were taken away. Keabreauna’s experience occurred in Oklahoma, where it has never been more urgent for us to act. The state now ranks #1 in the country for most domestic violence cases per capita. For the last year, we’ve been working with the Oklahoma Survivor Justice Coalition to advocate for enduring criminal legal reforms that will protect, rather than incarcerate, survivors of domestic violence.

But the criminalization of domestic violence survivors isn’t limited to Oklahoma. Thousands of people across the country remain incarcerated for acts of self-defense and survival.




It’s time to respond to survivors of domestic violence with compassion and justice, not incarceration.