Sex-trafficking survivor Cyntoia Brown will finally be set free after being convicted as a teenager. Next week, at the age of 31-years-old, we’ll see her release. After a viral campaign #FreeCyntoiaBrown, this is an overdue win for justice.
Her Past as a Victim of Sex Trafficking
Cyntoia Brown is a childhood victim of sex trafficking. She was raped, beaten and trafficked in 2004 by a pimp known as ‘Cut Throat’. What happened next? A 43-year-old man called Johnny Allen picked her up.
According to her testimony, he took her to his house and showed her his guns. She thought he was reaching for one when she grabbed a gun and shot him first. He allegedly also grabbed her between her legs. She testified that she feared he was going to kill her, and acted in self-defense.
Sexual abuse marked her childhood. At 16, Cyntoia Brown was arrested for killing a predator she believed was going to kill her.
The Totally Wild 51-Year Sentence
She was sentenced to life in prison for killing her alleged attacker (and predator). Cyntoia Brown was charged as an adult. The sentence? 51 years in prison. Widespread outrage followed. Celebrities and activists including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian called for her release.
Cyntoia’s story went viral and many advocated for her freedom, saying her sentence was clearly unfair.
Then, after almost fifteen years in prison, she was granted clemency. Fifteen years, guys. She became eligible for release into supervised parole when she was thirty. While in prison, she grinded and received her GED (high school degree).
And Finally, Her RELEASE:
Next week, Cyntoia Brown will be set free. She is 31 years old. There are conditions to her release, Refinery29 reports. She has to report to a parole officer for the next decade. She also has to be employed, go for counselling, and do community service with at-risk youth. Here’s what she has to say:
Update: Cyntoia Brown will be set free next Wednesday on August 7th, 2019! ?? pic.twitter.com/SxoLZY2Hjx
— BlackEntertainment? (@IlovebeinBlack) July 31, 2019
Sex Trafficking is Everywhere, and it Happens Here Too
Sex trafficking is a global, illegal trade. And yes, that includes South Africa. Women and children are the most targeted victims. Here’s where to get help if you suspect trafficking of someone you know. Or, if you are a victim yourself. Help is available below:
- South African National Human Trafficking Rescue helpline: 0800 222 777
- Stop Trafficking of People: 081 720 7181
- Download Panic Hero (Panichero.com) – a free safety app that allows you to send a detailed SOS message to three emergency contacts by pushing the panic button.