When Cyntoia Brown’s story got a lot of news coverage, there were countless other girls out there like her that didn’t. One of them is Chrystul Kizer. Her often-overlooked story is strikingly similar to Cyntoia’s. Now, a new development may have just changed how this story ends.
As a teen, Chrystul Kizer was being abused by a 34-year-old man who was wanted on charges of child pornography and sex with underage girls. After attempting to kidnap Chrystul and force himself on her, she shot him in self-defense. She was locked up - and then a campaign began.
People wanted Chrystul to be freed. What Chrystul did isn’t viewed as self-defense - even though it’s clear an underage girl can’t consent to a relationship with a grown man. Girls like Chrystul need help, not punishment. Now, there may be a glimmer of hope for her.
The Chicago Bail Fund paid her bond - after it was reduced from an exorbitant 1 million dollars - and she walked out of prison with all the letters of support she received while inside. She’s been awaiting trial for years, and is still facing life in prison, but at least she’s not behind bars for now.
Chrystul’s story shows that we have to keep fighting no matter what. She’s someone whose life matters, and by fighting for survivors of the violence she experienced, we’re working to make our communities safer. Her story isn’t over, but we hope it only gets better from here.