Between the years 2009 and 2016, www.statcan.gc.ca reported that 865 victims of human trafficking became known to police. 95 percent female and 72 percent under the age of 25. Notorious for being an international issue, the issue of sex trafficking has become more apparent in recent weeks.
These past few years, social media has granted a platform for stories of many who have been affected to be shared. In late 2016, the internet began sharing the story of Cyntoia Brown, a 28-year old woman who had been given a life sentence for the murder of 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allen, who solicited 16-year-old Brown for sex. Brown explained the murder as a form of self-defense. Brown’s abusive ex-boyfriend and pimp, Garion “Kut-Throat” McGlothen had forced Brown to become a sex slave, threatening to kill both Brown and her family for disobedience. Meanwhile many rapists such as Brock Turner and Jacob Anderson have had way shorter sentences for their actions.
Brown’s unfair sentence, angered many, including celebrities such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West, who utilised their platforms to publicize Brown’s story. The story has been shared time and time again, trending on Twitter and other platforms.
On January 7 2019, Brown was granted clemency and will now be free on parole. Today at 30, Brown is considered lucky despite all she’s been through. For many this wouldn’t be the situation. For many girls and women, there is no way out. They spend their days living lives that don’t feel like their own.
Brown has spent her 15 years in prison studying and passing classes with excellent grades. She earned her high school diploma and is expected to complete her bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University in May of 2019. With her parole approaching, Brown wants to dedicate her time to helping young girls who have found themselves in situations similar to her own. She wants to make a difference in the lives of those affected. “With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people,” said Brown for Upworthy. “My hope is to help other young girls ending up where I have been.”
Currently, stories of regaining justice have been significant. Although, unfortunately, many are still trapped facing horrible dangers, a reality not easily escapable.
Photo Courtesy of abcnews.go.com