This week, against the predictions of President Donald Trump who thought it would be him, Time magazine announced its person of the year is actually a group of people they dubbed “the silence breakers.”
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Thomas Chatterton Williams wrote an important opinion piece for the New York Times, however, which highlighted some females voices who still aren’t being heard titled The #MeToo Stories We’re Not Hearing.
The women in these stories have voices that are even smaller than those in the news concerning Weinstein and Lauer. It’s vital someone starts to hear them as well.
Born with fetal alcohol syndrome and later dropped out of elementary school, Cyntoia Brown had the type of start in life that most of us cannot even fathom. At the age of 16, she lived in Nashville, Tennessee at a hotel with a pimp called Kut Throat.
Kut Throat drugged and raped Cyntoia repeatedly and forced her into prostitution. Then, on August 6, 2004, she was out on the job working for the pimp when she shot and killed a 43-year-old john in his home as he reached under his bed. Brown thought he was reaching for a gun, and she reacted in self-defense.
She was tried as an adult in 2006 and given a life sentence, which she is currently serving in the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. She will be eligible for parole in 2055 when she turns 67.
Meet Sara Kruzan. Sara’s father was incarcerated and as a result of losing her protector, a trafficker 20 years Sara’s senior named George Gilbert Howard swooped in and started grooming her for sex work at the age of 11.
In 1995, at the age of 17, she killed the trafficker after years of sexual harassment and rape. California sentenced her to life without parole. At her trial, they refused to admit evidence of her abuse. This is not unusual and considering that 86 percent of women in jail have suffered some form of sexual abuse, it certainly should be.
Human Rights Watch caught wind of Sara’s case and shone a spotlight on it. As a result, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted her sentence.
She was granted parole in 2013.
EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A VOICE
Williams brings up a salient point in the piece:
“If ambitious, highly educated, well-compensated women at major news organizations are being harassed and assaulted with impunity, what is happening to poor and working-class black, brown and white women outside the media’s glare?”
Thanks to his aggressive research into sexual harassment and the issues that come with it, a few of them, at least, have gotten a slightly larger voice this day. Share this article with your friends, so someone else learns about these brave women still hidden in the shadows.
Feature Image Via YouTube.