FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2012
GRACE SHARES HER STORY, DECLARES “I NO LONGER FEEL ALONE”
LOS ANGELES – Last night, despite veiled threats from her abuser, Grace Grande sat before the press, local activists, and community members, as well as friends and family. Mariposa Center for Change (MCC) Executive Director Ivy Quicho and Jollene Levid, National Chair for AF3IRM, were beside her and started the night by sharing the importance of Grande’s political asylum case to the audience.
Quicho emphasized that Grande is a victim of transborder stalking, which garners little attention or research. According to Quicho, stalking has a very strong psychological impact, with “49% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next” and 1 in 6 American women have experienced stalking, in which they feared harm or death would come to them or someone close to them. Quicho also stressed the lack of protection for victims of stalking.
Grande’s case is an example of why legislation like VAWA are important in helping immigrant women, according to Jollene Levid. She criticized the current re-authorization, which excludes immigrant women, and she called for an end to the current war on women. In addition, she emphasized that “this violence against women case crossed borders, oceans, and we’re here to demand that Grace be granted political asylum for her own safety and for her children’s” and assured the audience that members of AF3IRM and MCC are remaining vigilant despite cyber attacks against AF3IRM’s website and threats made directly to Grande.
Then it was Grace Grande’s turn to speak. The audience was touched by her honesty and bravery in sharing her story and listened intently to her chronicle of the relationship with her abuser and her struggles in trying to break free. Her abuser has threatened to take away her children and constantly told her that she “was a piece of trash that he just picked up.” When she finished her story, she appealed to the audience, “I ask for your help to stop all this. I am not out for revenge. I just want this to stop for me and my children."
It was obvious from her tale how much harassment, as well as emotional and psychological abuse Grande has endured. She has spent five long years thinking that no one is listening to here; that no one would help her. Tonight, she shared “I no longer felt alone.” With AF3IRM and the Mariposa Center forChange beside her, she finally has people to stand with.
The Stand with Grace Campaign continues with another forum and rally to be announced prior to her hearing on September 24th. Information regarding the campaign can be found at the AF3IRM website (www.AF3IRM.org) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StandWithGrace). --##