"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Black Lives are Sacred Day 5: Free Bresha Meadows

This beautiful little girl's life is incredibly sacred, but our misogynist and racist society says it isn't. Women are constantly raped, beaten, and murdered by current and former male partners--three every day in a domestic terrorism epidemic, 75 percent of them as they are trying to escape the situation--and face the harshest of penalties if they ever engage in self defense. And the churches, all churches, are totally silent about the original sin of cis male violence against women, children, and also other men.

I have heard literally thousands of homilies and sermons in my life and the only ones to ever mention this as a grave sin are some written ones by Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney. I have also never seen any of these mortal sin listed in an examination of conscience for confession or specific prayer of confession as in many Protestant worship services. Instead abuser and abused so often sit together, are expected to pray the same prayers of repentance, and the victim is shamed and pressured into premature, justice-free forgiveness which disregards and endangers the abuser's soul as well.

Bresha is just a little older than my own daughter, having just turned fifteen in jail and recently being put on suicide watch. She should not be imprisoned at all after heroically defending her mother, her siblings, and herself from a lifetime of abuse with the gun her father frequently used to threaten them all. As in so many cases she and her mother and her aunt, a police officer, repeatedly sought help and were turned away, so she had no other recourse but to shoot him as he slept.

She faces her second pretrial hearing tomorrow, where she may be charged as an adult which could lead to life in prison. This Wordpress site has crucial information about her case and that of the huge numbers of imprisoned girls and women, especially Black ones, who are survivors of repeated, brutal, unpunished domestic violence. Today and tomorrow, Oct. 5 and 6, are days of action with many options listed.

Please sign the petition to free her. Also please consider writing her a letter of support, as Katie and I are; writing an open letter and reading those already posted; and contributing to the GoFundMe to help her family move out of the traumatic area where the abuse happened and was ignored.

Edited to add:

Katie just sent me her letter and I think it is the most important thing we did in homeschool this week. She came to some peace and marriage equality protests with me as a young child but this is her first personal step for social justice. And contrary to the culture and church that implicitly and explicitly tell women and girls to accept, submit, and forgive unrepented and ongoing cis male violence writing these words to support an oppressed sister also strengthens her knowledge of her own dignity, value, and right to protect herself and others in danger.

Healing for me too as I work through about my co-parent's long term choice to foster, excuse, and victim-blame instead of protecting me from our teen son's vicious verbal abuse and physically threatening rages is the message it sent both of our children: strong men abuse women directly, weak men let them do it backhandedly, and women shut up and take it. I am humbly proud and grateful to God for giving me the strength and courage to do everything possible on my watch to lovingly tame Nick's toxic masculinity, and even more grateful that I can heal now that Katie and I are both safe and that watch is over except for the prayers.

Dear Bresha,

Hi! My name is Katherine Grimes, and I just wanted to say that you are so brave for not only finding the courage to stand up to your father, but physically protecting yourself and your mother and siblings – even if that required his death. At the time that I am writing this, the petition has 17,057 signatures out of the 20,000 that they’re looking for – I hope that they find the rest soon! I know that a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to find your strength. Please remember forever that you are a hero for putting a stop to the abuse and keep on fighting.

Also – Happy Birthday!

-Katherine Grimes-

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