Help Us Send Ms. to Women in Prisons and Domestic Violence Shelters!

Out of sight may mean out of mind—and heart. For women in prison, this is the tragedy. For the rest of us, this invisibility keeps us from realizing how much women in prison may resemble you and me: Most women in prison are not a danger to society. About 82 percent have been convicted of non-violent crimes. Two-thirds have dependent children.

We at Ms. magazine decided to let women in prison know they are seen and valued. We started a program to benefit women in prison, which was extended to cover women in domestic violence shelters as well. Shelters can be nearly as isolating, often lacking libraries or any reading material, just as many prisons do.

That’s why the Ms. Magazine Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program was formed.

Coy Ferrel / Creative Commons

We send 4,853 federal, state and county prisoners and to hundreds of shelters. That’s a fraction of the total, but it’s a number we’re proud of and keep growing because of support from Ms. readers like you.

We see the importance of this work through the letters we receive:

“You have been a wonderful, bright spot in an otherwise bleak existence. The prison I am currently incarcerated at places copies of your magazine out in the library for the inmates. I spend as much time as possible in there, so I’m always one of the first to snag one.”

– Katherine Holmes, Tennessee

It is funded by charitable contributions earmarked for this purpose, and also by Ms. community members who buy an extra membership for a friend they don’t know.

Please make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ms. Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program. Let women on the inside know they are not alone. And let women in shelters know it’s unfair for them to be deprived of home while the criminal is free.


Gloria Steinem is a writer, speaker and organizer and the co-founder of Ms. She is also active with the Women’s Media Center, Equality Now and Donor Direct Action.