[TRIGGER WARNING: SEX SLAVERY, RAPE OF A MINOR, RACISM, GUN VIOLENCE]
This has been difficult for me to even look at because it's so horrific, but this girl needs us and she needs us now.
Cyntoia Brown is the 16-year-old girl who was forced into sex work by her abusive boyfriend. When a grown man violently sexually assaulted her and attempted to rape her under this sex slavery, she feared for her life, took out a gun, and shot him. The child rapist died, as all child rapists should. Now, the Supreme Court of Tennessee has ruled that Cyntoia must spend at least 51 years in prison. That is her entire life.
You might have seen posts comparing Cyntoia to white men who have murdered people and gotten less than a year in jail or been let off altogether based on self-defense or "stand your ground" pleas. But we all know these don't apply to people of color. Not even underage girls of color who were trying to defend themselves from adult rapists who might have killed them. Then, of course, is the fact that rapists can spend 90 days in jail and then move on with their lives, free to rape more people.
This case is the ultimate example of how there is no real justice in the U.S. But it's also about a real girl's life. She is absolutely the victim here, and she needs our help. Governor Bill Haslam could grant her clemency. He's a Republican, but there's a chance he has a human heart. Or at the very least could be swayed by a lot of political pressure. We need everyone who can to call his office. Clemency is the best way to keep her out of the hell of prison, where she is likely to be victimized again.
His phone number is (615) 741-2001. Call, demand, beg, whatever you have to do. We have to save this poor girl. She needs to see that there are people in the world who will protect her from all the evil out there and that she can have a future. Don't let the rapists win.