Imagine the horror women who are sexually abused go through. The trauma. The fear. The powerlessness.
One local woman decided she had enough, so she decided to fight back against her attacker.
And now, she’s in jail, but it’s worse than you thought.
This woman was sexually abused by multiple men while she was just a child.
She was raped and forced into prostitution and lived her life daily in fear.
At only 16-years-old, she didn’t know where to turn.
Instead of facing continual abuse, she decided to escape and get away.
Fearing for her life, and in self-defense, she shot and killed her abuser.
Even though she was only 16-years-old when she killed him, this woman was tried as an adult, and now she’s behind bars.
Although this happened years ago, social media took up the case and started a firestorm of comments.
“Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named “cut-throat.”
After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men you were purchased by a 43 year old child predator who took you home to use you for sex.
You ended up finding enough courage to fight back and shoot and kill him,” the post reads.
Your (sic) arrested as (sic) result tried and convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prision,” it continues.
“This is the story of Cyntoia Brown. She will be eligble for parole when she is 69 years old.”
But why did they lock up Cyntoia in jail for self-defense?
Prosecutors claim it wasn’t self-defense, claiming Cyntoia robbed the 43-year-old man.
Even though Cyntoia saw guns in his home, and feared for her life when she saw him reaching for an item, the justice system still decided to try her as an adult, and lock her behind bars.
The Independent reported:
“Cyntoia Brown was given a 51-year prison sentence for the first-degree murder of 43-year-old estate agent Johnny Allen.
Brown was being trafficked by an abusive man in 2004 when Mr. Allen picked her up on the street.
She says she was afraid of the 43-year-old, who she said was behaving strangely and owned a number of guns.
She shot Mr. Allen in the head because she was afraid he was going to hurt her, she claimed…
In 2011 documentary following Brown’s story called Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, Founder of End Slavery TN Derri Smith, said: “She did kill someone, she deeply regrets it, but she was a child and she was being exploited.”
Ms. Smith said changes in Texas’ law in recent years mean Brown would not be convicted if she was put on trial today. “
[There’s] no such thing as a child prostitute or a teen prostitute, I think we’ve had to have a cultural mind shift,” she said.”
This sends a horrible message to women who are victims of sexual assault. Knowing if they fight back they may face prison, only perpetuates the cycle of fear and powerlessness.
And knowing they are covered and protected, sexual predators now feel even more empowered.
A teenager who is drugged and raped should not be considered a prostitute.
She is a child, who is being exploited by a sexual predator.
The justice system needs to protect teenagers from predators, not lock them up when they have the courage to fight back.