American Association of Empowered Women, Inc. (AAEW) is a registered 501(c)3 organization with Internal Revenue Service and Maryland Charity.
AAEW Women's Justice Reform Alliance is designed to help women who have been convicted of murder when they were forced to protect themselves from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence.
"CeCe" is the mother of 3 who fell in love with "Derek" after he displayes his charm and took in her and her kids and treated them as his own. The first year or two things was great. One evening "CeCe" decided to hang out after work with few friends and came home a little later than usual. That was the day the abuse started. Five years later after several busted lips, broken arms, black-eyes, two fractured ribs, a sprained ankle from being thrown down the stairs and a missing tooth after being kicked in the mouth the abuse continued.
"CeCe" finally left him only to find out that she could not take care of her children and provide their daily needs. They moved from shelter to shelter for 3 months until "CeCe" could stand watching her kids be hungry and homeless, she went back. The first few months was good almost perfect until one evening "Derek" punches "CeCe" and once again the abuse started all over again as if she had never left.
One evening while cooking dinner, "CeCe's" cell phone rung and read "unknown" "Derek" asked her why she didn't pick up the phone and she said probably a bill collector. He immediately accused of cheating and would not stop. The beating last for almost half hour until "CeCe" snapped grabbed a knife and repeatedly stabbed "Derek" in the neck until he was no longer moving and dead.
"CeCe" was charged with first degree murder and was sentenced to 99 years all but 55 suspended. The abuse was recorded with the police station so history was known . Her three kids are now without their mother and left with the trauma of seeing their mother phsycially abuse.
The laws states that a person may not use deadly force to defend if it is possible to leave the situation safely. This means in cases such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, or physical abuse where the law feels a young girl/woman can "leave the situation safely" she cannot defend herself in any way that results in murder or even assault.
What the law does not take into consideration is the fear, the emotional and mental effect the abuse causes, the history of abuse suffered or that which she had witnessed growing up, nor her mental health fully explored . Being abused demolishes a woman’s self-esteem and self-confidence and in so many cases result in suicide.
Most lawyers are accustomed to defending violent men and lack the necessary experience and understanding to adequately defend women who acted out of fear. There is an underlying sex-discrimination in the justice system. Women are up against sexism, stigma, and cultural assumptions from judges and juries and the law still does not take proper account of women’s experiences of abuse.
AAEW Women's Justice Reform Alliance is committed to helping women fight who currently serving time for finally stood up to their abusers the best way they knew how. We don't condone murder; however, we are fighting for changes in the law that will not see self-defense as murder in many of these cases where abuse hisory can be proven.
Forty-five percent of the women incarcerated are serving time for defending themselves against a family member, spouse, or partner who abused them physically and/or sexually after many years of the abuse.
We want to provide legal assistance for cases like "CeCe" and we need your help. We count on donations to provide the support needed to make the processes as successful and as un-traumatic for women in these cases. Our goal is to provide legal, administration, public meetings, moral support, and a strong defense for the women we are assisting.
We appreciate your donation in advance!