Write to the Women of CWAA

Jun 26th, 2009 In: Featured Resources By: Comments 63

The Convicted Women Against Abuse need your support, encouragement and words of inspiration after hearing their stories in Sin by Silence.  Also, if you are able to, include some stamps in your letter and make sure to write “stamps enclosed” on the envelope.  Most inmates only make 10 cents per hour at their jobs, so stamps are greatly appreciated…and will help the women be able to write you back!


Glenda Virgil was released on June 25, 2013. Send her a message that we can pass along to her at virgil@sinbysilence.com


Glenda Crosley passed away on July 13, 2013 from a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. We find solace in the fact that her incredible story will carry on through Sin by Silence for generations to come. Click here to read more >>

LaVelma Byrd
CIW, W54191, LA246L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Joanne Marchetti was released on November, 2015. Send her a message that we can pass along to her at joanne@sinbysilence.com

 Rosemary Dyer
CIW, W30483, MA08L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Send a message to all the women of CWAA through the current Chairperson…

Susan Bustamante
CIW, W27953, MA28L
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA 92878-8100

Click here to download a printable PDF of all the survivor’s addresses.

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63 Responses so far.

  1. As the creator of Fighting Spirit Warriors, a fitness for self-defense program for girls and an award winning filmmaker I have always wanted to do a movie about women and domestic violence. This film is amazing and I applaud the women who fought back against their abusers and the justice system. I also applaud the director and producers who took the time to put their heart and soul, time and energey into producing such an important movie for all to see. Hopefully it will change the laws and how domestic violence victims are seen and treated.

  2. mary says:

    I was a victim of child abuse. Physical, mental and sexual. When I married my husband promised to care for me and protect me and turned around and began to beat me. I never called the police. I knew better. So many years of being abused and told by my mother that I was a nobody. This made me believe that getting beat was just my destiny..Normal..My life. Thank God 1 day I said ENOUGH!!! I began Tye Kwan Do classes, kick boxing, became a volunteer with the sheriffs dept and that man had a black eye the next time he attempted to hit me. Thank God he protected me all of those years. I never hurt him enough to go to jail but I totally understand these women. God bless you and grant you all your freedom!

  3. andy says:

    Sin by Silence team ~ you are all outstanding!! awesome!! beautiful!!

    and i still can’t understand why is it taking sooo much time to set them free.
    these women spent too much time in a jail and now since there is a new law you would think that system would be trilled to let them free in much faster way and take this as a priority. come on. really!! is this the best the system can do for these women? enough. they all need to go home. period. because, the system was wrong to put them in, in a first place and now then need to dig out old stuff to prove their innocence…how to expedite this all? can we put pressure for all women to get one trial, instead to wait one by one case to go through?? these ladies are not young and we cant wait any longer. set them free!! FREE.
    love to you all!! great work everybody and anyone who has gone through abuse!!
    be so proud of your self. you all are inspiring part of this beautiful society and the world!! <3

  4. Sally says:

    When I read of these women’s stories, the first thought that comes to mind is, “There for the grace of God go I.” I have walked in your shoes for a time, knowing my choice was to die or go to jail for protecting myself at one point. I was broke and had no where to go, not even a telephone at some points in the marriage. (mid 70s to mid 1980s) I wasn’t a person who felt the option was to grab my baby, and empty purse and run into the night, why should I? I never felt so helpless as the night he sat at over 215 pounds on my 115 chest rocking with his legs lifted as he crushed the breath out of my lungs. I felt my eyes bulging out of my head, that was followed by an attempt to break my neck. He left virtually no marks on me in spite of nearly killing me twice. That time, I had no telephone. Eventually in another city, I did call the police after he broke my nose. Once he realized I would not remain silent, he did back off to a degree. But, there were still death threats, a rape where I could only let him know what it was like to have sex with a limp corpse, while crushed under his weight. Based on his crimes, he should never have seen the light of day.

    I have wondered what would happen if a man like this walked into the finest restaurant and attacked the mayor’s wife in her beautiful finery. If he threw her to the floor and raped her. Would he go to jail to stay? You bet!! What’s the difference? Is there some silent unwritten law that says the justice system in this country is allowed to give us NO justice, NO protection because we had an intimate relationship with these men?? Assault is assault, rape is rape. Where is it written that we don’t deserve justice because we loved the wrong person? This country is prone to criticize the mid east for their treatment of women. Yet here, women who choose to live and protect themselves loose all freedoms for the rest of their natural youth. Something is terribly wrong here in the US, maybe worldwide. It needs to be FIXED yesterday, or really many many decades ago.
    A cop will shoot a man holding a butter knife to protect his life. Why are we who bring all the children in the world into being not allowed more than two choices. JAIL or DYING in agony?

  5. Laura says:

    Another reviewer wrote the first thing through her mind watching was “there but for the grace of God go I”. That is the exact phrase that went thru my mind watching this. All young women should learn from these women and know that abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of education or socio-economic status.

    My husband and I were completely moved by Sin by Silence, and were saddened to learn of the passing of Glenda Crosley. The amount of lives she touched by hearing her plight must be far greater than she ever expected. She truly rose above the role of victim that her abuser would have had her spend her whole life being.

    I would love to write and correspond with women like these in my own state, as I’m sure abused women were convicted of killing their abusers in every state. If the message of what these women were able to accomplish reached prisons in other states, then laws could be changed nationwide. However, I have no idea how to go about finding women locally that may be just as resigned to their fate as these brave women, and need reminded of their strength of spirit. Hope can be contagious, and I’d very much like to be a carrier of hope. Does anyone know of domestic abuse victims support groups in women’s prisons in other states, or could tell me how to go about connecting with inmates in my state? I live in Texas.

  6. admin says:

    Hi, Laura. Thanks so much for connecting and sharing how much the film had an impact on your life. Unfortunately, the Convicted Women Against Abuse group is only in California in the one women’s prison where we filmed. It is definitely a program that should be replicated across the country, and we hope to see that happen soon. Yet, we do know that many domestic violence agencies across the country have started reaching out and hosting support groups in their local prisons. We don’t know if this is happening in Texas, but a great place to start would be your state’s coalition at http://www.tcfv.org

    Keep us posted,

    The SBS Team

  7. Renee says:

    To all the ladies, how very brave you all are. Thank you for speaking up for the ones who cant, or have been silenced forever. Breaking free from you prison of abuse to be put into a prison of bars, well, it just does not seem right. Freedom, both freedom from abuse and freedom in life, should be a God Given Gift. But as it appears your freedom depends on how you look at life. The movie was so inspiring for me, and thank you for all you have done. May God Bless you, all of you!! Trying to obtain your freedom cost you your freedom. I will be praying for all of you.

  8. angelique says:

    I would just like to wish you strong ladies a blessed holiday..

  9. Donna Entrican says:

    I want to say thank you to the women who stood up to make a difference we should all appreciate them. They were brave and told their story. I think it’s sad that they are still in prison when they only defended themself. Justice is not fair. I too am a victim of domestic abuse. I have dealt with it most of my life. I am now in a relationship where I don’t have to deal with it.

  10. Kodi says:

    Like so many here, I was also a victim of domestic abuse. During my final escape, I hit my husband with my car (he had jumped on the hood, I backed out from under him, dumping him on the ground. I then swerved to drive around him but apparently I hit his leg). When I learned about that, he started using the police to threaten me. Apparently they had come out after that happened, and for a while, I was afraid of being prosecuted, even though he had terrorized me beyond reason. I so feel for these women! I had everything going for me — a supportive family that he had not managed to alienate despite his attempts, no children, a good education and job — but it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to get away from him. I wish everyone could understand how trapped women are in these situations, and how sometimes it really is us or them. No one would dare lock these women up if they understood! Like Laura, I wish there were women here in my state of Utah that were involved in this fight. I’m sure there are women everywhere who are imprisoned for trying to escape. I have not seen the whole film yet — just the trailer and clips — but I already know the story, because I have lived it, at least to a large extent. Prayers and love to all you brave women! I hope you can win your freedom back. It is the very least that you deserve. Good luck. (I also work with troubled teens, and I am terrified for the future I see in so many of them — they would be such easy victims. Wish I knew better how to help. I do what I can)

  11. Shirley says:

    We showed your film the other night in Tasmania, Australia. Everyone was blown away by it, so moved by all you women who so bravely and honestly told your stories. Stories which will go on to help other for years and years to come.

    One of the hardest parts of the evening was when I wrapped up the session by announcing to the gathering that Glenda Crosley had since passed away. :(

    The difference that Glenda was able to make in her lifetime is phenomenal. Her legacy will live on forever in our hearts and mind.

    I love how Sin by Silence has grown from inside prison, something that many would think impossible. Well done ladies may you continue to support and educate other women around the world.

  12. Fred says:

    Each and every woman currently in prison for killing a abusive husband/boyfriend should be freed at once! The women in Sin by Silence are heroes NOT criminals! Domestic violence is one of the great crimes that needs more attention. A man should not even raise his voice to a woman let alone his hands!!!!

    BRAVO and God bless all the women who killed their abusers! Those men were simply no good and hopefully are roasting in hell!!:-)

  13. Marian says:

    I first saw Sin by Silence five years ago, shortly after it was made. I ended up working with many women who were released from CIW at a transition home outside of LA, and became friends with several women who were released because of the Sin by Silence laws. This film changed my life and changed the lives of so many deserving women. These women are the epitome of bravery and grace.

    I would love to write the women who are still inside. Are LaVelma, Rosemary and Joanne still at CIW? If not, are there other women in the CWAA group that would like to receive letters? Please let me know any and all women who would like to correspond and I will happily write them as much as they’d like.

    Thank you so much!

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