Cyntoia Brown is serving a life sentence for killing the man who bought her for sex and threatened her life at 16. Noura Hussein, 19, was sentenced to death for killing her husband after he raped her. While there are efforts underway to help these girls, the message is clear: Do not stand up for yourself. Do not take charge. Do not resist men. Ignore the superheroes, they are not for you. You are meant to take it on the chin or anywhere else we decide.
Both of these stories are so enraging that it is hard to focus through the tears. These girls are our responsibility. The system that has allowed their lives to be destroyed through no fault of their own is our system. The one we have actively or passively allowed to flourish for millennia. And we must break it into a million pieces and build something that sees girls’ lives as equal to boys, all children’s lives as a collective responsibility of the world and never let things like this happen again. I am holding my breath.
Ashley E. Remer
Girl News International