When the Victim becomes the Accused

Support Paige on March 5th at the Fulton County Superior Court at 9am

A young disabled mother was enticed into moving to Georgia with her little girl to live with her new partner in early 2020. This mother and her child now need our help!

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation towards their reunification and towards social justice, click here. One financial need has to do with paying for a medical expert to testify on March 5, 2021 at Paige’s bond hearing.

We are in need of a medical expert to explain to the court about Paige’s medical needs, about the severe pain she is in and about the treatment that is needed around her disability. With the proper therapy, she can improve functionality, feel better and also be her best self for her daughter. Her condition has been going downhill while incarcerated and she is in terrible pain.

Why does Paige need our help – what happened?

During the ‘honeymoon phase’ of the relationship that brought mother and daughter to Georgia, Paige did not see signs of danger for her and her child just as most victims of domestic violence do not see what is coming. Once Paige was situated in the partner’s home with her child and Paige’s disability income fell under the partner’s control, the mental, verbal and physical abuse began.

Paige is in a wheelchair and does not have use of her legs, suffering from several healthcare problems, including Proteus syndrome, scoliosis and injuries caused by a car accident – a broken pelvis and nerve pain. So, when the abuse escalated – after her partner had isolated her from friends and family – it was extremely difficult to find a way out, but Paige was trying.

Before Paige could find a path to safety and a new home, someone in her building saw the signs of abuse on Paige’s child and called authorities. Paige’s daughter was placed in foster care and Paige was sent to the Fulton County jail in the middle of 2020, prosecuted as if she is the perpetrator of child abuse rather than being supported as the victim of domestic violence.

It has been a long road for Paige, waiting in jail for many months without any sign of justice or relief, but advocacy is beginning to take hold. We cannot take anything for granted, though, so we need everyone who can be there to show up on March 5th.

Paige now has a lawyer moving for her release on bond – the hearing is on March 5th at the Fulton County Superior Court here on 136 Pryor Street. If you can show up for her and show your support for her release on bond, please let us know! On Facebook, we’ll update everyone here on this event page and in the “We Show Up” Facebook Group, if you would like to join our village of supporters there. For parents caught in our court system, going to court alone is especially terrifying, so the more supporters Paige has, the better. When we show up for each other, we have more hope that justice will be had!

Being released from jail is just the first step, and ongoing support is requested. Email here for more details about what is needed and what to expect. Thanks to local domestic violence organization Feet to Clay, housing has been arranged for Paige for after she is released from the Fulton jail. She is beyond grateful that she does not have to worry about where she’ll live and to know that she will be safe! Feet to Clay was recently featured in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution to share Director Lawanda Jordan’s story.

Please share this need with others and join us on March 5th at the courthouse! Once Paige is released, she will need to continue living in Georgia where she has no family, so she needs a village to help her through this time. We’ll be advocating for physical therapy, domestic violence counseling and support in recovering from the trauma of the abuse, the separation from her baby girl, and the physical pain and anguish from being incarcerated and isolated from everyone who loves and cares for her.

We appreciate the hard work by her new lawyer and the diligence of the caseworker with the Department of Family and Children’s Services in helping to transition Paige’s daughter to her family and to support Paige in healing and in reunification with her little girl. The separation of mother and daughter is extremely painful, and other problems can result from this separation if the situation is not managed carefully. According to Georgia’s Attorney General, over 80% of the children documented as victims of child trafficking have been exploited after involvement in the foster care system. We want to make sure that this child does not become another statistic – and the best way to protect her is to ensure she is reunified with extended family and with her mother. Reunification of mother and daughter can only happen, though, if the court releases Paige on bond so she can follow the case plan laid out by DFCS.

Our goal is to see Paige released on March 5th and then provided with necessary healthcare treatment and housing; we will continue advocating for her child to be reunified with family and for them to have the support they need to heal and move forward, safely and together. Tax-deductible donations may be made here.

We are grateful for our alliance with Accessibility Bridge, a 501c3 serving people with disabilities and in need of inclusion and understanding.

Join our Facebook Group “We Show Up” for social justice, for survivors of family violence and child abuse. This group page is attached to the March 5th event at the Fulton County courthouse to support Paige.

Please support Paige and her daughter, victims of domestic violence, by joining us on March 5th at 9am for her bond hearing.

Be sure to like and follow Navigating Justice on Facebook and on Instagram.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support,

Deborah Beacham

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