Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sin by Silence

As October draws to a close I am reminded of the MANY "blogger-tunities" I was blessed with this month.  Perhaps the most inspiring was my evening with Brenda Clubine and Amanda Graybill.  
I met these extraordinary ladies at an event two weeks ago.  The event was held in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  It was my true honor and privilege to have shared the evening with these dynamic women.
Amanda Graybill, founder of The Little Black Dress Society invited Brenda Clubine to share her story with our community.  Brenda spent 26 years in a California prison for the murder of her husband.  She hit him over the head with a wine bottle when he asked her to give him her wedding ring back.  He told her that without them they would not be able to identify her body the next day.  He then beat her for six hours.  In the end she grabbed the wine bottle, hit him and he died.  She was convicted for his murder.  Evidence of his YEARS of abuse was not allowed into her trial as she committed her crime prior to 1992.
Brenda's story of triumph over tragedy was highlighted in a documentary called Sin by Silence.  This documentary chronicles not only the imprisonment of Brenda, but of other women who fell victim to domestic abuse...other women who saw the look of rage in their partner's eyes...women who knew in that moment it was either "him" or "them,"...women who acted in self defense but were not allowed to claim self defense because of arcane laws.  Women, who from inside the walls of a California prison were able to ban together and set unstoppable wheels in motion.  Brenda is free, the rest are not.  
Brenda, and her prison mates, were integral in the passing of The Sin by Silence bills in California.

"In 2002, Penal Code 1473.5 became law, making California the first state in the nation to permit battered women convicted of killing their batterers to file a writ of habeas corpus that challenged their original conviction if sentencing occurred prior to 1992. In 2012, AB 593 and AB 1593 seek to bring justice for the survivors still trapped behind prison walls."
Because of this legislation, Brenda is now a free woman, who is married, and reunited with her family.  
Upon her freedom Brenda founded a non-profit called Every 9 Seconds.
"Every 9 Seconds is a non-profit committed to Education, Prevention, Intervention & Legislative lobbying to create change in the arena of domestic violence victimization and survivor incarceration worldwide. By fostering relationships with legislative officials, law enforcement, judiciary officials, communities and facilities of incarceration. It is through these partnerships we will make change nationwide.
Every 9 Seconds purpose is to lay the groundwork for positive change with victims of domestic violence. To create and foster an arena for those wanting to help family, friends or incarcerated victims of abuse to gain the empowerment and steps that it takes to gain their freedom.
Each day four women face death at the hand of their abuser. It is only through knowing that change can happen that we make the difference between life and death."

Are you interested in writing Glenda and the other women still imprisoned?  Brenda says they LOVE to receive correspondence and know that their lives were not lived in vain and that they are making a difference!  Email me at and I will get you in touch with these inspiring women.  Are you interested in becoming involved at the local level?  Visit The Little Black Dress Society and learn how you can make a difference in your community!

This documentary is worth purchasing.  Inform yourself, inform your friends, inform your daughters and sons.

Click here to like Fete on Facebook.
Click here to follow Fete on Pinterest.
Click here to follow Fete on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment