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Stopping (Constitutionally) Sanctioned Violence against Women of Color

On March 3rd, 2009, Aniysah was taken from her mother’s arms by New York’s Family Court System and placed in the care of Aniysah’s father who has a history of domestic violence offenses. Furthermore, there were no records verifying that she would be taken to a safe living environment or that she was enrolled in school. Questions about her health and well-being went unanswered. That was over 150 days ago. To date, Aniysah remains lost in the family court system. A system where black and brown children go missing every day. A system where black mothers like Aniysah’s are often left to fend for themselves in a brutal, dogged battle just to make sure their children are safe. On the surface, this case appears to be a simple custody dispute, however, if one digs deeper it is a story about the injustices of New York’s Family Court System and how it fails brown women and children daily and how it can be used to further terrorize and re-victimize survivors of domestic violence.

Here at Document the Silence, one of our goals is to break the silence surrounding violence against women of color, particularly those who are poor and working class. Moreover, we want to raise awareness about how this violence informs and intersects with various aspects of our culture, including the media, and the legal system. Thus, we think it’s critical to point out that the “Where’s Aniysah” campaign is not only about the failings of the family court system but is also about domestic violence and how it has shaped the legal struggles of Aniysah and her mother, Angeline. As a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of Anyisah’s father, Angeline is a living testament to the “intimate” connections between experiences of abuse among women of color and the mistreatment they experience in the family court system. Because of the case is still pending we cannot list all the facts of the case in this email, but you can find all the facts on our website.

It’s time to hold the family court system accountable. Document the Silence asks that you join them in the “Where’s Aniysah?” campaign by posting information about this case on your blogs, online social networks and throughout your community (http://documentthesilence.wordpress.com). At the website you will also find a petition, and suggestions for what you can do to demand that justice is served on August 24, 2009. We especially encourage you to leave comments on the site expressing your support for Aniysah. Also, please feel free to forward this email.

If you are in the New York City area, please show your support for Angeline’s case by coming to her next family court hearing on August 24, 2009 at 11:00 am. The courthouse is located at:

Courtroom E-123, Annex Building
Justice Fernando M. Camacho
125-01 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

If you can make it to Angeline’s next court hearing on August 24, 2009, please let us know by emailing us at: WheresAniysah_Campaign@yahoo.com

Thank you in advance for doing your part in breaking the silence surrounding injustices against women and children of color.

In solidarity,

Fallon S. Wilson, Document the Silence Organizer


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