NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee today announced that a petition urging New York Governor Kathy Hochul to grant clemency to Nikki Addimando has received more than 25,000 signatures. An additional 575,000 signatures have been received in support of a #FreeNikki change.org petition.
Nikki Addimando is a loving mother of two young children. She survived years of violent abuse and sexual torture at the hands of her longtime partner Chris Grover. On September 28, 2017, Nikki fatally shot Chris Grover in self-defense after a night of abuse and homicidal threats against her and threats to her young children. Nikki has already served more than five years in prison.
The Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee said, “We urge Governor Hochul to grant clemency to Nikki today and reunite her with her two young children. We thank all who signed the petition and the thousands who shared their deeply personal experiences with domestic violence. Granting clemency to Nikki is an opportunity for Governor Hochul to show she understands the scourge of domestic violence and to rectify an injustice in a system that so often punishes women for surviving.”
Chris Grover was aggressive with Nikki from the very start of their relationship in 2008, with his abuse becoming a regular pattern after the birth of their first child in 2012. Unlike most intimate partner violence, Nikki’s abuse was well-documented by her therapist, her midwife, friends, medical professionals, and police over several years. Nikki’s documented abuse included a dislocated shoulder, severe genital trauma, rectal prolapse, bruising, burns to her labia, bite marks, and strangulation marks. Grover posted videos of his sexual torture of Nikki online to PornHub – posts that were witnessed and documented by both law enforcement and Nikki’s therapist.
On the day before the shooting, Nikki and Grover had been visited by Child Protective Services regarding Grover’s abuse of Nikki. Following that visit, Nikki told Grover that she intended to “take a break” from him with their two young children. Grover responded by loading his handgun in front of Nikki and showing her descriptions on his phone of how he could shoot her in her sleep and make it appear to be a suicide. When Grover pointed the gun at Nikki, the two struggled, and Nikki obtained the weapon. Demanding it back, Grover threatened that he would kill both of them so that their “kids would have no one.” In the course of the struggle, Nikki shot him.
Nikki was wrongly indicted for intentional murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, the only crimes for which Nikki has ever been charged with in her entire life. At her trial, which began on March 18, 2019, the prosecution relied entirely on discredited and outmoded views of the impact of domestic violence to discount Nikki’s account of events. Doctors, psychologists and journalists who have spent hundreds of hours investigating Nikki, Grover and their relationship have concluded that Nikki has been truthful about her abuse and the events on the night of the shooting.
In February 2020, Nikki was given an unjust sentence of 19-years-to-life by Judge Edward T. McLoughlin. In 2021, after a hearing limited evidence permitted at the trial, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, in a scathing rebuke of the trial judge’s failure to recognize unassailable facts and reliance on myths about domestic violence, ruled that Nikki had indeed been horribly abused by Grover and that the domestic violence was a major cause of the crime for which Nikki was convicted. The Court powerfully rejected the “methodology, approach, application, and analysis” Judge McLoughlin applied to sentence Nikki and amended Nikki’s sentence to 7.5 years under The Domestic Violence Survivors’ Justice Act. Notwithstanding this judicial acknowledgement of Nikki’s abuse and Nikki’s account of events, Nikki remains incarcerated and separated from her children.
Nikki has already served more than five years. Her children are now seven and nine years old. Nikki speaks to her kids daily from prison in addition to regularly exchanging letters and pictures with them through the mail. She reviews their homework, sings them lullabies, and reads them bedtime stories. She makes every effort to remain integral in their lives.
At her sentencing hearing, Nikki said, "I wish more than anything it ended another way. I wouldn't be in this courtroom right now, but I wouldn't be alive either. This is why women don't leave. They so often end up dead or where I'm standing — alive, but still not free."
Approximately 4,000 women are killed by a domestic partner every year. 75% of domestic violence victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the relationship had ended. 90% of incarcerated women are survivors of gender violence.
Sign Nikki’s clemency petition here. Learn more at https://westandwithnikki.com/.
About The Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee
The Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee is a collective of Nikki’s friends and advocates, working to bring awareness and action toward the decriminalization of domestic abuse survivors, and to highlight her unjust prosecution, conviction, and sentencing.