Press Release & Statement on Release of Sara Kruzan
International Free Sara Campaign | Save Sara
Save Sara Update: Sara Kruzan Released
Sara Kruzan, after spending nearly half of her life in prison, was finally released on October 31, 2013 from Chowchilla Women’s Prison to [allegedly] an Orange County facility for parolees adjusting to the outside world. After 19 years behind bars, child sex-trafficking victim, Kruzan, is no longer a prisoner; she is now officially a parolee. According to procedure, her exact location and temporary housing [allegedly in Orange County] will be confidential for her safety.
After so many years of unchanged injustice, a reality that once seemed impossible has now happened: Sara is free from prison as of October 31st, 2013. The CDCR released a brief statement regarding Sara Kruzan’s release and confidentiality: “Due to concerns for the future parolee’s safety, the safety of our staff, and the safety of the public, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) does not release the exact date, time, or location of a release.”
Presently, Sara Kruzan’s exact housing location will remain uncertain to the public for her own safety, and as long as she adheres to the conditions of parole, she will remain a free woman for the rest of her life. She will finally get to do all of the things she has amassed in the 19 years without liberty, and will be able to make a new life for herself and to see the world in a way she was deprived of her entire life.
As the public sentiment reflect, Sara is an asset to the public good and her contributions will make a difference for trafficking victims everywhere.
Sara is appreciative beyond words to everyone in the online community, to those who came forward in the initial photo petition, “Faces for Sara Kruzan: A Photo Collective”, to people around the world supporting Sara in their communities, those who have written and visited her, and everyone that came together in campaigns for her release.
Additionally, Sara’s dedicated friends, family, the tireless work of her attorneys, California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ written opinion, the California Parole Board’s recommendation for release, and Governor Jerry Brown’s approval, have all brought this child sex-trafficking victim to freedom.
Most importantly, Sara’s freedom represents that which every victim deserves and though millions have been involved in her case, Sara has herself to thank the most. She has worked so hard, mentally and physically to stay strong, and to survive wrongful imprisonment every day of so many years. Because of her relentless hard, ambition, courage and hope, she may now fully embrace her physical liberation.
As she once told me, Sara Kruzan has already found freedom “in her mind”. Now, she is free from those walls. Sara’s late freedom serves as a cause for celebration and a lesson that victims of trafficking need to be treated as such in the criminal justice system. The campaign and its leaders with Ms. Kruzan great happiness and adventure her new life has to offer. To a strong, warrior survivor: Sara Jessimy Kruzan. — Elizabeth O’Hara
Save Sara & “Faces for Sara Kruzan” – International Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan is an action-based initiative founded by Elizabeth O’Hara in 2011. The campaign lobbies for the release of Kruzan, a California sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison for killing her pimp in 1994. Save Sara was initiated by the need for an activist-oriented platform at this crucial time in Sara’s life. Its online home is at www.freesara.com or SaveSara.com, which also functions to promote Sara’s freedom in the real world, as all printable media including flyers, business cards and posters available on the site are encouraged to be downloaded, shared and printed. Save Sara is user-friendly and is easy to navigate for supporters who want to take immediate action.
In the fall of 2011, I started the Faces for Sara Kruzan photo petition, which is a collective movement to gain exposure to Sara’s case through visual media of her supporters by using the power of a picture to send your message of support. While signing the Change.org petition or any other text-based petition is very helpful, there is a significant personalization that comes from a supporter looking into the camera with their name and statement that words alone cannot achieve. To be one of the Faces for Sara Kruzan, email me a photo of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full name and an optional statement.
Not only is there a deeper resonance with the public when visuals are involved, but Sara herself has been greatly moved by the people in the Faces petition. It is a multi-purpose contribution because it will help a sex trafficking victim in prison feel hopeful and close to the people on her side. The Faces for Sara Kruzan petition includes anti-human trafficking leaders such as Rachel Lloyd, founder of GEMS; Daphne Phung and Mark Fisher, co-founders of California Against Slavery (CAS); Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves; Nikki Junker of With More Than Purpose Abolitionist Movement; Steve Graham, leader in Sara’s 2011 commutation and CEO of ACT; and Sara’s loving and supportive family, including aunts Anne Rogan and Cecilia Swiney, and cousin Ilona Chambers. The campaign for Sara’s freedom has also been supported by Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.
Elizabeth O’Hara: Founder of Save Sara
International Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan
Quick links to pages on SaveSara.com:
- Downloads & Media are available to garner support and outreach for Sara’s release
- Sara’s Video Interview shows Sara’s only interview with Human Rights Watch
- Sara’s Case Summary details Sara’s legal abstract
- Change.org Petition: Sign to petition for Sara’s release here!
- Letter to Governor Brown: Endorse a pre-written letter to the Governor here
- Faces for Sara Kruzan showcases the visual petition gallery and also gives simple, easy instructions for your participation in the petition
- More Sara Links & Press
Additional Sara Kruzan coverage by the Abolish Slavery Coalition:
- Life After Jail: Child sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s future plans
- Sara Kruzan sentence reduced; eligible for parole this year
- Breaking News: Sara Kruzan hearing postponed
- Settlement reached for child sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan
- Exclusive Interview: Sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s family speaks out