Proving that she's definitely a woman of her word, Kim Kardashian West is reportedly helping Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking survivor convicted of murder. On Tuesday, Kardashian responded to Brown's story in a tweet and vowed to call her attorneys, "to see what can be done to fix this." Kardashian explained in the post, "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." According to People, Kardashian has reportedly enlisted the assistance of her high-powered attorney, Shaun Holley to help Brown, the 29 year-old Tennesse woman who was tried as an adult for a murder she committed at 16.
In 2004, Brown was served a 60 year prison sentence, with no possibility of parole until 51 of those years have been fulfilled, for killing Johnny Mitchell Allen, a man who had paid her for sex. At the trial, Brown's attorneys presented evidence of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, and of the young woman being a third generation abuse survivor. As reported by Newsweek, Brown had also testified that she was regularly the victim of violent acts, including rape, and that she was threatened at gunpoint while she was growing up.
According to the Tennessean, Brown said that she was forced into prostitution by a violent boyfriend, and that her case actually inspired a change in law. Now, people can only be charged with prostitution if they're aged 18 and over, while people under the legal of consent are considered victims of sex trafficking. With all this in mind, it's certainly difficult to argue with Kardashian's suggestion that the system has failed this young woman. And it looks like the celebrity may be using her privileged position as a means to not just lend a voice to her cause, but to also actively help it too.
According to The Blast, Brown isn't the only victim of alleged injustice that Kardashian is reportedly helping. The celebrity is allegedly also helping a 62 year-old grandmother by the name of Alice Johnson who is currently serving 21 years of a life sentence for a first time, non-violent drug offence. Holley told The Blast that Kim, "asked me to help her find a way to help these women. We have already contacted Alice Johnson and her team of lawyers who are now actively trying to find ways to facilitate her release." The website also mentions that Holley has a conference call scheduled for Friday with which to begin discussions regarding Brown's release.
While Kardashian is reportedly working with her attorneys to release Brown, she wasn't the only celebrity with strong feelings regarding the case when it went viral as of Tuesday. On Instragram, Rihanna shared Brown's story and said in the caption, "something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life!" Meanwhile, on Twitter, outspoken Fifth Harmony member, Lauren Jauregui, said of Brown's case, "I wonder if that 43 year old would've been caught if he'd face his life in prison. But alas, he would not. We need to stop punishing and shaming victims, telling them it is their fault is untrue."
Musician SZA urged her Twitter followers to write letters in support of Brown's freedom, while Modern Family star Ariel Winter added to the stream of voices on Twitter by expressing that she was "saddened and disgusted by our system. After all she endured she is now imprisoned for life? For finally having the courage to fight back?"
In the spirit of the holidays, it feels critical to be thankful that we still live in a country where we can express our outrage at potential injustice, and raise our voices for those who aren't being heard. If, as reports indicate, Kardashian has enlisted the help of her attorneys to try and get Brown released, then it'll be a terrific example of a celebrity using their power to also help the powerless. Not just speaking out about alleged injustice, but also acting out in response to it. And that's something we can all take inspiration from in our everyday lives, and be thankful about having the freedom to do so.