Help Bring Sarah Home
My name is Anita Martinez, and as you all may know, I have been advocating for my friend Sarah Krivanek since her incarceration in December 2021. She was involved in a domestic violence incident where she was beaten severely by a male roommate, which led her to defend herself. The police were called and Sarah was arrested and later released pending she not leave the country until her case was closed. Her abuser later went to the police and withdrew his complaint and admitted that he was the aggressor and she was only defending herself. Because of this Sarah was told that her case would be dismissed and no charges would be filed. Sarah had no choice but to return to her residence where the beatings soon began again. It was at this time that Sarah contacted the U.S. Embassy for advice. They advised her to gather her belongings and get to the embassy. They arranged a hotel room and flight back to the United States. This was also just before the war with Ukraine started and American's were being urged to leave Russia.
Sarah was escorted to the airport by an embassy official. She was eventually detained and subsequently arrested for attempting to leave the country. She was later sentenced to 15 months in a forced labor camp where she lived under horrible conditions she received little to no medical care or basic supplies and food until we were able to locate her and have supplies delivered through a Russian Human Rights organization. Sarah was in a co-ed prison and suffered bullying, physical and psychological abuse and torment from inmates because she’s an American and had no obvious support from friends, family or government until we found her.
Sarah served her time in prison and was released on November 7th; however, she was immediately transferred to a holding facility for deportees where she would have remained for an unknown amount of time. The only option she had was to agree to a "Repatriation Loan" through the United States Government to pay for her flight home on December 8th, with the agreement that she repays the loan in full to the United States Government upon return.
She went through so much while in Russia and received no help from the U.S. government other than the Repatriation Loan. We were informed that because she wasn't considered "Wrongfully Detained" that she didn't qualify for any medical, psychological or any other services that are given to Americans who were incarcerated abroad upon returning home. We are in the process of getting Sarah whatever services and assistance she qualifies for here at home but it all takes time.
A small amount of the money that has been raised so far has been used to get Sarah clothes and miscellaneous supplies but the majority has been left in the account untouched until we know exactly how much will have to be paid back to the government, they haven’t given us the total amount due yet.
Other than what was used for clothes and supplies, all other expenses have been 100% out of pocket. Sarah currently has no income and because of the trauma she endured, has a long road to a full recovery. This is why we've raised the goal amount and continue to ask for any help you can give; it all adds up and is greatly appreciated.
If you’d like to read more about Sarah’s plight, PEOPLE.COM, New’s Nation and now GMA have been covering and reporting on her situation. She has been dubbed “The Forgotten American.”
Thank you and God Bless you all who have donated and who continue to donate. You are all very appreciated!
Organizer and beneficiary