On November 24th, Thanksgiving night, in East Chicago, IN, a 21-year-old woman named Aneiceia Moore was allegedly kidnapped, beaten, and run over twice by her own car by the father of her children, Charles Tolbert. After escaping her abuser, Moore was taken to Christ Medical Center; she suffered two broken hips, a broken pelvis, and damaged bladder. The report taken by the police say Moore was intoxicated, and little else of the traumatic, violent events of the night. Charles Tolbert (nicknamed PAC) is still on the streets.
We cannot talk about domestic violence without talking about the violence of the State. The same culture of violent misogyny and toxic masculinity that bore Charles Tolbert’s abuses, runs thick through the veins of our criminal-legal systems. Criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence is routine within the criminal punishment system.
In 2012, Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband; she spent three years in prison for protecting herself. Today, 15-year-old, Bresha Meadows has been behind bars for more than 117 days for protecting herself and her family from her abusive father. 15 year old Latesha Clay was sentenced to 9 years in prison for the robbery of her would be rapist by two teenagers, while she was being trafficked. 85% of incarcerated women are survivors of domestic or sexual violence, or child abuse; they are often incarcerated after being coerced into criminal activity by their abusers, or defending themselves or their children from their abusers. Black women and girls particularly experience a high level of systemic criminalization as survivors. Visit http://www.survivedandpunished.org/ to learn more.
It goes beyond incarceration, in 2015 – at the age of 15 – Marcie J. Gerald committed suicide after having to relive her traumatic experience of rape in court. Throughout the trial, Marcie’s rapist winked at her, and repeatedly made comments about how pretty she was. The re-traumatizing conditions of the court process is just another way in which the State fails to protect survivors of domestic and sexual violence. A double burden is placed on survivors: having to protect themselves from their abusers, and from our punitive, inattentive systems of “justice”.
The State failing to recognize the traumatic experiences of Aneiceia Moore is violence. The State failing to hold abusers accountable in sustainable, restorative ways is violence. The State failing to uplift, support, and validate the experiences of domestic abuse survivors is violence.
We are fighting for radical transformative justice that addresses harm and abuse by supporting healing and justice for survivors of trauma while uprooting systemic forces that conspire to perpetuate abuse and violence. In the age of mass incarceration we understand that the state’s criminal punishment system is not setup to prevent, eradicate or heal abuse and violence but rather to add bodies to a tortuous system that works to uphold the very structures that produce the social ills it criminalizes. We know that under the current system of justice is perverted into the inhumane hands of state punishment and so we fight for new systems where love and belief in humanity’s capacity to radically transform is at the foundation of methods to address abuse and violence. However we are aware that this system is not yet a reality and the conditions we find ourselves in require ensuring Aneiceia and her children are safe and protected from further violence and threats of death from their abuser. Therefore we are supporting the family by lifting up their demands while continuing to fight to end mass incarceration and the torture that is the U.S. prison system.
Here’s how you can support #AneiceiaMoore:
Write her a letter of love and support, share on social media and tag @blmchi in it with the hashtag #AneiceiaMoore, #SurvivedAndPunished
- Call the Gary Indiana PD and demand that an immediate order of protection and arrest of Charles Tolbert be implemented to protect Aneiceia Moore and her children., call tel:219-881-1214.
- Also ask to speak with Chief of Police Larry Mckinley and ask him why does his department take the alleged attempted murder, kidnapping and domestic violence against Aneiceia so lightly? Tell him that we demand answers and justice for Aneiceia now!