Domestic violence survivor still fighting for police accountability in one of first tests of new Cleveland citizen police review
Young person with medium skin tone, wearing their hair up. Wearing a yellow cardigan, orange tank top, and gray pants. Standing in front of a red brick building, and manicured landscaping with flowers, grass, and trees.

This story sheds light on how the stigma around mental illness can be a barrier to domestic violence survivors in the criminal justice system. At multiple stages in the process of seeking protection from her abusers, Karima McCree-Wilson faced discrimination from the police and medical professionals, and in court.

“Karima McCree-Wilson sounded exhausted as she addressed the board members on the video screen.

More than two years had passed since she began filing police complaints against her father. His attacks went unchecked for eight months, she claimed, until he was finally arrested and convicted of aggravated assault and domestic violence.

Throughout her experience, McCree-Wilson pressed Cleveland police to take her claims seriously. But officers, it seemed, routinely dismissed her. It wasn’t just their apathy that bothered her. It was how they blew her off—suggesting, to her, that they thought she was mentally ill.”

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