On June 5, 2020, my daughter Ashlyn was just a few weeks pregnant with her second child when a domestic violence incident occurred. Fortunately, my daughter and her unborn child survived. Now the State of Georgia wants to add my daughter’s name to the long list of women who went from being abused in the home, to being abused and imprisoned by our justice system, just for defending themselves.
Why do Stand Your Ground laws only seem to apply to certain men in this country? Meanwhile, women like my daughter are not allowed to defend themselves, even when violently attacked. Instead, there are multiple examples of women like Cyntoia Brown, LeToya Ramseure, and Marissa Alexander who were sentenced to 15 to 20 years behind bars for having the courage to defend their own lives!
I want to make it clear that Ashlyn is not just a statistic to be ignored and forgotten. She’s a soon to be mother of two daughters. Ryann is 2 years old, and baby Aria is due in February 2021. Ashlyn is also a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and a great friend. She is loved dearly by friends and family, and respected by her colleagues. She recently obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University. She has many hopes and dreams for herself and her family. She’s also resilient. Since being released on bond, she has started her own business selling her own handcrafted candles, wax melts, and air fragrance.
As of November 2020, I’ve exhausted my retirement savings to pay for Ashlyn’s legal fees. Now Ashlyn’s attorneys are requesting an additional $26,000 upfront before trial. We’ve been advised that the total costs could surpass $50,000.
Please help us to raise the funds needed to defend Ashlyn so that she can continue to raise her daughter and be a productive member of a society. Even if you can’t contribute today, please help us to spread the word to others who may be able to contribute. The criminalization of survivors must end!
- Tonya Harris
- Marcia Shell
- Danielle Laney
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