Celebrities are using social media to raise the plight of a woman who was jailed in Tennessee as a teenager for killing a man who paid her for sex. Stars such as Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna shared a screenshot of a post partly describing Cyntoia Brown's circumstances.
"Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named 'cut-throat'," the post reads before saying that Brown was "drugged and raped" multiple times before being "purchased by a 43-year-old child sex predator" who she shot and killed.
The image in the post reportedly originates from a 2011 documentary which detailed the harrowing circumstances of Brown's upbringing. During her trial in 2004, Brown reportedly told how she was raped and beaten numerous times at home.
Brown was tried as an adult and sent to prison for prostitution and murder. According to Newsweek, during her 13 years behind bars, Brown has completed an associate's degree and is working towards her bachelors degree.
A petition calling for Brown to receive a presidential pardon has so far garnered over 120,000 signatures across the world.
Writing on Twitter, Kardashian West said: "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."
She added that she had spoken to her attorneys about the case.
In an Instagram post, Rihanna wrote: 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!"