They Punished Her For Survival, But Now She's Finally Free

cyntoia brown and her husband
Zain Murdock
January 3, 2022

On January 7, 2019, 30-year-old Cyntoia Brown-Long finally received clemency after spending nearly half her life in prison. She thought she’d spend forever behind bars, but a global community stepped up to prove different!

As a teen, Brown-Long was forced into “sex slavery.” At 16, she believed a 43-year-old man involved in her abuse was going to kill her – so she defended herself by killing him first. 

But the criminalization and hypersexualization of Black girls in this criminal “justice” system led to HER being the one sentenced to life.

The punishment for surviving her abuse was finally cut short in 2019 after fifteen years in prison. 

During her incarceration, she earned multiple degrees and mentored other young people, and has continued her advocacy since then.

She’s done a speaking tour, published a memoir, and formed a non-profit to support other survivors! “I’m committed to [fighting] for all the other people who are just like me,” she declared recently. 

And, after actually getting married while imprisoned, Brown-Long joined her husband in a new home in Nashville – finally settled and excited to enjoy life.  

Cyntoia Brown-Long fought for liberation from her sexual abuse by any means necessary. But not all survivors receive the same level of exposure and advocacy. We still have work to do – to fight to free them ALL from this cruel system!

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