People Are Calling For The Release Of A Teen Sex-Trafficking Victim Jailed For Life
22 November 2017, 13:28 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 14:59
Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and many others are expressing their support for Cyntoia Brown.
The internet and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Rihanna are demanding justice for Cyntoia Brown, a victim of sex trafficking who was sentenced to life in prison for shooting her abuser at the age of 16. She will only be eligible for parole after serving 51 years in prison, at which time she would be 67 years-old.
Her original conviction was in 2004. Filmmaker Dan Birman shot a documentary over several years called Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, released in 2011, which documented Cyntoia’s backstory and her court case.
It is from this documentary that inspired a post which went viral last week. In the post, Cyntoia is said to have been a child sex slave who was kept in a cycle of abuse by a pimp nicknamed “Cut-Throat” after running away from home. After being drugged and raped by different men, she was then purchased by Johnny Allen who wanted to use her for sex. In then says Cyntoia stood up to Allen and shot him in self-defence after she tried to escape.
Many people are using the #FreeCyntoiaBrown hashtag to voice their disbelief that a young girl who was forced to be a sex slave was tried as an adult and convicted of murder. As a Fox News report on the case revealed, this is because laws in Tennessee were updated after the documentary about Cyntoia’s case. Birman's film on Cyntoia helped change Tennessee law for children: now anyone 18 or younger can't even be charged with prostitution. If Brown's case was heard today, the court would treat her as a child human trafficking victim.
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 21, 2017
did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause..... Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child's sentence I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already! #FREECYNTOIABROWN #HowManyMore
I fucking hate our system. I feel so wrecked about this. I'm so so sorry for everyone wronged by our government. pic.twitter.com/WTDrkYoueD— bella thorne (@bellathorne) November 21, 2017
People ask why women don’t fight back harder, against rapists, against abusers, against predators, because when we do, we are punished. The system is used against women, specifically women of color. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/rMwgs2hCfh— caroline (@caaaaroollline) November 21, 2017
The Cyntoia Brown case began in 2004, poor girl is now in her 20s 😕. I remember watching her documentary back in 2012- it's now 2017 and people are JUST realizing about this case. 😑 The attention is way overdue but better late than never, thank God. 🙏🏾❤️#FREECYNTOIABROWN— Princess Nelly (@_NellyEmGee) November 21, 2017
Despite of her circumstances Cyntoia Brown has gone on to graduate from Lipscomb University and obtained an Associate’s Degree while in prison. She is currently working towards a Bachelors degree too. She has also worked with the juvenile justice system as an unpaid consultant to make things better.
Let's hope this renewed pressure on the courts will have some success in giving Cyntoia the second chance at life that she so deserves.