News Release

Campaign to Free Maddesyn George

Maddesyn George is a young Native mother, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State, and a survivor of sexual and domestic violence. She has been incarcerated since July 2020 for acting in self-defense against a white man who raped her and threatened her life. Instead of receiving support after suffering a traumatic experience, Maddesyn was incarcerated and denied bail, and separated from her infant daughter and community. She accepted a plea deal in late July that includes a minimum of 5 years in federal prison; the prosecution has recommended a 17-year prison term. Maddesyn will be sentenced in the Eastern District of Washington Federal Court on October 20.

Yesterday, organizers with the Campaign to Free Maddesyn George delivered a petition to the U.S. Department of Justice that calls for the charges against George to be dropped. The 6,100 signatories include individuals from all 50 U.S. states and 47 different countries around the globe. More than fifty organizations working for Native liberation, sexual and domestic violence survivors, and racial and gender justice have also endorsed the petition.

Washington State ranks second highest in the country for missing and murdered Indigenous people, according to the Urban Indian Health Institute. Maddesyn survived an attack on her life only to face charges by the same U.S. Department of Justice that just two weeks ago reiterated its commitment to addressing sexual and domestic violence against Indigenous women. Indeed, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco acknowledged in remarks at the Symposium on Missing or Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives on September 16 that “domestic violence and sexual assault are some of the largest root causes of missing or murdered Indigenous women.”

Maddesyn’s supporters are outraged by the treatment that Maddesyn has had to endure at the hands of the criminal legal system. For too many Native survivors, the criminal system neglects or exacerbates interpersonal harm rather than provides support and reparation.

The petitioners urge the Department of Justice to redress this grave injustice by vacating the charges immediately so that Maddesyn can return home to her family and community and get the support she needs to recover and rebuild after more than a year in jail.

#FreeMaddesynGeorge

#SurvivedAndPunished

#ViolenceAgainstIndigenousWomen

#MMIW

Organizational Endorsements

Accountable Communities Consortium (WA)

AGE UP (All Girl Everything Ultimate Program) (WA)

All of Us or None – Eastern WA

American Indian Science and Engineering Society at UCLA

API Chaya (WA)

Big Picture Learning Native American Initiative

Black and Pink Seattle/Tacoma

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (WA)

Collective Justice (WA)

Columbia Criminal Justice Coalition (NY)

Communities of Color Coalition (WA)

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CA)

Critical Resistance – Portland (OR)

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services (WA)

Dove Project (WA)

Eastside Legal Assistance Program (WA)

Fight Toxic Prisons (National)

Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

ForFortyTwo (WA)

Free Them All WA

Friends of Little Saigon (WA)

Gender Justice League (WA)

Hualapai Tribe (AZ)

INTERIM CDA (WA)

LifeWire (WA)

Love + Protect (IL)

Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women Washington

Mother Nation (WA)

Multi-Communities (WA)

Native Women's Collective (CA)

New Beginnings (WA)

New Connections (WA)

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

No New Jails DC Coalition

No New Washington Prisons

Participatory Justice (WA)

Peer Reentry Navigation Community Bail Fund (WA)

Pillars of the Community (CA)

Project Harja (NY)

Radical Women Seattle

Reimagine Safety (WA)

South & East King County Mutual Aid (WA)

South Philly Participatory Defense Hub

Study and Struggle (MS)

Support Ho(s)e Collective (IL)

Surge Reproductive Justice (WA)

Survived and Punished (National)

TRU Unity (WA)

University Beyond Bars (WA)

Vashon-Maury SURJ - Showing Up for Racial Justice (WA)

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Providers

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Young Women's Freedom Center (CA)

Campaign to Free Maddesyn George ID