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In Stevenson, Alabama Brittany Smith was brutally raped and ultimately killed the person who attacked her. She now stands trial for murder in a county that had double the state average of aggravated assaults per capita between 2015-2017.
Domestic violence and sexual assault are a common occurrence in Jackson County but few women feel comfortable going to law enforcement knowing that nothing will be done. Even worse they run the risk of being blamed for the assault.
In 2013 Brittany was struggling with a serious drug problem that resulted in her kids being removed from her care. Over the next several years she worked hard to overcome her drug addiction and was able to increase visitation with her children. As things continued to improve, it looked like she would regain custody of her children
In January of 2018, Brittany Smith for the first time in years felt happy. Her life was moving in the right direction. She had just landed a job that would put her in a good position financially. However all of that changed in a single night when the unthinkable happened.
Brittany received a call from a supposed friend, Todd Smith, who was in a tough spot and needed a place to stay. Her initial reaction was to say no. Todd had expressed a desire for a romantic involvement with her and she did not feel the same way. Her brother Chris even expressed concern about allowing Todd into her home. However against her better judgement Chris and Brittany picked Todd up and she brought him back to her home.
That night Todd took advantage of Brittany’s kindness and brutally raped and assaulted her. After Chris found out about the rape he came over to Brittany’s home to get Todd out of the house.
That night an altercation between Todd and Chris ensued. Todd was choking Chris as Brittany pleaded with him to let her brother go. Todd who was high on Meth along with a multitude of other drugs wouldn’t stop. Brittany then fired a gun which ultimately killed Todd.
While a rape kit showed strong evidence of the assault Brittany was still arrested 48 hours later and eventually indicted in March of 2018.
Over the past few decades the rate of women being incarcerated has more than doubled that of men being incarcerated. Studies have shown that women who have committed violent acts that resulted in imprisonment had done so after they had been victims of violent acts themselves.
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