Naomi Freeman has been released thanks to your tremendous generosity! In total, 345 people donated to Naomi’s freedom in amounts ranging from $3 to $1,000. Your donations made it possible to secure Naomi’s release on bond yesterday, December 23, 2015. You joined Naomi’s family and a host of grassroots organizations to raise almost $13,000 in less than a week. That amount was enough to fill the gap in Naomi’s bond ($35,000) and a $26,000 grant from the Women’s Justice Fund, previously a part ofCrossroads Fund.
Furthermore, because your efforts raised $3,000 more than the amount needed for Naomi’s bond, the Chicago Community Bond Fund will use that money to bond out more people. Survivors of abuse, pregnant women, and others will benefit from these additional funds. And, when Naomi’s case is over, her bond will be returned to the Women’s Justice Fund at CCBF, where it will be available to bond out other survivors of abuse in the future.
Your contributions made this all possible. Together we secured the entire $35,000 needed to reunite Naomi with her children by Christmas. Thank you. Your solidarity freed Naomi from the cages of Cook County Jail, but Naomi’s case is far from over. We invite you to join us in solidarity with Naomi and her family as her case continues. Now that she is released on bond, Naomi is in the best position to assist in her own defense. As many of you may know already, people who are incarcerated before trial are many times more likely to be convicted than those who are released on bond. This solidarity has potentially changed the course of Naomi’s life.
As many of you know, more than 75% of women in prison are survivors of domestic violence, and that violence often connects directly to the circumstances of their arrest. In 19 states, including Illinois, there are also laws that criminalize women for the violence their children experience as a result of their abusers. Charged under these “failure to protect” laws, women often serve years more time than the abuser. We have much work to do, friends, but we hope that as a result of our collective efforts to see Naomi released, we have contributed to a growing mobilization to push back against the criminalization of women, disproportionately Black and Indigenous, for self-defense and survival.
Most crucially, all of us organizing in solidarity with Naomi want to honor her survival and her commitment to healing. Naomi has been moved by your support. When we first met Naomi in Cook County Jail, she was so overcome by the trauma of her experience that she was surprised to know that there were people who were ready to advocate for her, though she did have support from her immediate family. At this point, she is overcome by the love and solidarity she feels from all of you. Please read Naomi’s own words, now that she’s been released:
“I just want to say thanks to everyone that helped me reunite back with my family—especially in time for Christmas. Love to you all and happy holidays from me and the entire Freeman family.”