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Survivor Stories for Justice

What happens when women fight back in order to rescue themselves and their children?  How can we protect the countless number of women who are forced to commit crimes out of fear for their lives?  When addiction becomes a way of life, following repeated violations in childhood,  how can we provide a culture of protection against the violence that too often goes with it,  offering help rather than further punishment?

Herstory Writers Workshop is happy to announce the forthcoming publication of a mini-anthology, featuring stories by women who faced decades of imprisonment after they were forced into unthinkable choices.

Each of the nine selections gives a very raw and real picture of what happens when violence against women, often starting in childhood, becomes a way of life, when rape, prostitution and addiction become the only way.   Fierce, brutal and honest, these are stories a reader will never forget.  Nor will a reader forget the moments of beauty and redemption that peek through the portrayals of damage, abandonment and sorrow, calling us to see the striving humanity and the will to survive that allows us to read these difficult pages and not turn away. 

​While this volume was originally conceived in support of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA),  the group of women who elected to work with the project came together to write about a multitude of issues, including violence against children, human trafficking, prostitution, addiction, homelessness and other situations that make women subject to being preyed upon.   We are hoping that the resulting collection will have widespread impact among judges, legislators, prison reformers and human service providers, in looking at a wide array of policies and practices involving abused women and the law, and that it will become required reading in criminology, social work, women’s studies, ethics and sociology classes,  wherever questions about the way we are going about things still need to be asked.

Click here to read a sample chapter.


Read More.

We thank the NoVo Foundation for the generous grant that made this work possible. 


Painting created by Gwynne Duncan-

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