Help Wendy Dowe, Survivor of Irwin Medical Abuse

Wendy Dowe, a member of Families for Freedom, was detained at The Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Ga. for a year and 6 months. Prior to this, she had been living in the United States for two decades before she was picked up by ICE. ICDC drew national attention in September 2020 after Project South, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, South Georgia Immigrant Support Network and Georgia Detention Watch filed a complaint with the Office of Inspector General on behalf of whistleblower and advocate, Ms. Dawn Wooten, and detained immigrants at the ICDC regarding the rampant human rights abuses occurring in the facility including non-consensual invasive gynecological procedures.
 
Wendy was a source to the OIG complaint filed and underwent one of these invasive gynecological surgeries herself without her full understanding of what the surgery was for and would entail. After the surgery, Wendy’s wounds from the surgery became infected and she suffered in pain at ICDC. After being deported, Wendy found out that she had her fallopian tubes removed during this surgery without her knowledge or consent.  During her time at ICDC, Wendy was constantly pressured to have a hysterectomy done by the same doctor even though she stated she wanted a second opinion but was told ICE would not pay for a second opinion. Wendy bravely repeatedly stood up for herself and denied this surgery, even though she faced repercussions at ICDC for doing so.
When Wendy entered Irwin County Detention Center in September of 2018, the only medical issue that she had was hypertension. However, during her time at ICDC she experienced extreme amounts of stress due to being separated from her children, heavy bleeding, cramping, digestive issues due to the facility’s food, a surgery that she was not fully informed about, headaches and impaired vision due to unwanted antipsychotics that she was pressured into taking by ICE officers, high fever and a number of infections due to medical malpractice and negligence following that surgery.

In the Black Feminist Voices- Roundtable Discussion on the Legacies of Forced Sterilization and Resistance webinar hosted by Project South, when discussing her experience of medical abuse at Irwin, Wendy stated that, “So it’s like I’m in a fight with them [ICE and the doctor] to do the hysterectomy. I escaped the hysterectomy but I still can’t have children because they took my fallopian tubes out without my consent. And to me, that’s an abuse. Because it’s like I didn't have a voice because I’m an immigrant.” 

Wendy believes she was retaliated against and deported because she was so vocal about the abuses occurring during her time at ICDC. Since being deported, Wendy has publicly spoken out a number of times regarding the medical abuse that she experienced, including at congressional briefings. Due to her expedited deportation, Wendy was unable to explore all the possible avenues that would have allowed her to stay in the U.S. Deportation has effectively exiled Wendy from the country that she has known for the past two decades. This has also been the case for other survivors of medical abuse at Irwin who have spoken up regarding their experiences or are seeking to testify against Dr. Amin - they have been deported or face the threat of imminent deportation.

Wendy is the mother of four children, three daughters and one son, who have who have all had their lives dismantled due to their mother’s detention and deportation. Two of Wendy’s children had their lives uprooted as result of being forced to move back to Jamaica - a country that Wendy has not lived in for two decades and that is unfamiliar to both her and her children, who were all born in the U.S. and are American citizens. Wendy has already lost her son, who died at 10 years old because he was blocked by the U.S Embassy from entering America to receive the medical care that he needed, even though he was an American citizen and could have received the treatment he needed in the U.S, which was not available in Jamaica. One of Wendy’s daughters is disabled and while she was able to receive the medical care that she needed while living in the United States, she has not been able to access this care since returning to Jamaica.  

This fundraiser is intended to raise enough money for Wendy to: pay for her own medical needs (be that medication, appointments, etc.), the medical needs of her children, groceries, and her children’s schooling. However, if Wendy needs the funds for something else, such as everyday support after being deported, she is free to use the funds as she wishes.

Every cent will go to Wendy Dowe. She has sole access to these funds. To reach her, contact her organizational reps, Project South, Families for Freedom & Georgia Detention Watch.

Hear Wendy talk about her experience at Irwin County Detention Center:
"I Just Felt Like I Had No Control Over My Body": Survivors of Alleged ICE Medical Abuse Speak Out (Video) 

Black Feminist Voices Roundtable Discussion on the Legacies of Forced Sterilization and Resistance (Video) 

Press Conference with Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Congressman Hank Johnson (Video) 

The Many Abuses at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia 

Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries 

About This Fundraiser:
This fundraiser is being co-sponsored by Families for Freedom  and Georgia Detention Watch  on behalf of Wendy Dowe.  When fundraising is completed, Families for Freedom will receive the funds from GoFundMe, minus GoFundMe's administrative fees, and will disburse the total remaining amount to Wendy Dowe directly.  The only additional fees that may be accrued will be banking fees necessary to transfer funds outside the US should that be necessary.

Donations

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  • Grace Hawkins 
    • $40 
    • 3 hrs
  • Kevin Caron 
    • $50 
    • 8 hrs
  • Lindsey Fuller 
    • $30 
    • 7 d
  • Sadie Asbridge 
    • $5 
    • 20 d
  • HAYLEE MONFREDI 
    • $20 
    • 21 d
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Organizer

Georgia Detention Watch 
Organizer
Atlanta, GA
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