Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Sex Trafficking Criminalized for Self-Defense

The case of Cyntoia Brown—who was sentenced in 2004, at age 16, to life in prison for killing a man who bought her for sex and raped her—garnered the support of A-list celebrities and received widespread news coverage. In January 2019, after Brown had served fifteen years in prison, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam granted her clemency, describing her case as “tragic and complex” and citing “the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life.”

In contrast to the spate of news coverage from establishment outlets, which focused on Brown’s biography and the details of her case, independent news organizations—including the GuardianDemocracy Now!Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones—stood out by reporting that cases like Brown’s are all too common. Victims of sex trafficking and sexual violence are often prosecuted for acts of self-defense. In a January 2019 interview, Mariame Kaba, the cofounder of Survived and Punished, an organization supporting survivors of violence who have been criminalized for self-defense, told Democracy Now!, “There are thousands of Cyntoia Browns in prison.”

In an article published by the Guardian in January 2019, Kaba wrote that multiple studies indicate “between 71% and 95% of incarcerated women have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner,” and many have experienced “multiple forms of physical and sexual abuse” in childhood and as adults, a pattern that experts have described as the “abuse-to-prison” pipeline. On Democracy Now!, Kaba referred to activist Susan Burton, another incarcerated survivor, who has argued that the system essentially works to “incarcerate trauma” when sexually-abused victims are sentenced to prison for self-defense….

https://www.projectcensored.org/6-survivors-of-sexual-abuse-and-sex-trafficking-criminalized-for-self-defense/

It’s unfortunate that the physical and sexual abuse of infants and mothers at birth continues to be universally ignored.   One can only speculate about the impact of infant circumcision on adult male violence, for instance, because no one is bothering to track the circumcision rate among perpetrators of such violence.   The medical mystique has hypnotized the entire society.

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