Whenever a situation requires national (or global) attention, I truly believe it’s the duty of those in the spotlight to bring the conversation to the dinner table. By that, I mean it’s important for celebrities and influencers to use their reach to promote change and action within society. If not, what are they using their fame for? Over the last few years, we’ve been able to witness the power of social media and celebrity in spreading awareness about numerous social and political issues in society. Now, celebrities are using their platform to inform us about someone we need to discuss. In the past few weeks, you may have seen celebrities tweeting about Cyntoia Brown.
Cyntoia Brown is a 29-year-old woman who was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in 2004. The reason? She fatally shot a 43-year-old man who hired her for sex when she was 16-years-old. Brown was traded in a sex-trafficking ring numerous people turn a blind eye towards. Her “pimp” had drugged, raped and repeatedly beat her. This was her way of self-defense and fighting back against her story. Now, celebrities are speaking out in order to gain freedom for Brown, who will only be up for parole by the time she reaches 69-years-old.
Celebrities like Rihanna:
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
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
Why is it so important to learn the story of Cyntoia Brown? Becuase it’s one that isn’t uncommon in society. The Atlantic reported that in 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that there are 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide. And, while many people believe that this could never happen in The United States the National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported that more than 4,000 cases of sex trafficking were documented in the U.S. And, as a whole human trafficking is a lucrative industry that around the globe rakes in $150 billion.
This isn’t just a problem, it’s an epidemic.