Cherelle Baldwin was fleeing for her life and from her ex-boyfriend who’d physically and psychologically abused her for years. Yet, the 24-year-old black woman from Bridgeport, Connecticut is standing trial for murder in his death and, If convicted this time, she could spend decades in jail. Unfortunately, her story is far from unique.
What’s more, Baldwin has been kept in prison for nearly three years while awaiting her second trial on charges of first-degree murder. In early 2015, her first trial resulted in a hung jury and mistrial, reports Victoria Law.
Baldwin’s case shows how the justice system often criminalizes (and prosecutes) abuse survivors, usually after this same justice system fails to stop the domestic abuse perpetuated on the victims, writes Law.
Despite being granted a court order against her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Brown two years before, Baldwin was repeatedly terrorized by Brown at her own home. Finally, one day, he showed up, and after threatening her with a knife and choking her with a belt twice, he ran her over with her own car. Somehow, she managed to escape with a broken leg and hit him with the car, although she does not remember how she did this.