Black girls, who make up a bulk of child sex trafficking victims, often end up behind bars after surviving or attempting to escape abuse. 

Girls like Cyntoia Brown-Long, who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 43-year-old man who paid to have sex with her when she was 16. She was eventually granted clemency and released after serving 15 years. 

“I just can’t help but feel an overwhelming gratitude and just a sense of awe with how everything played out,” she told NBC Nashville after her release in 2019. 

Her case was unique: A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Rihanna raised their voices with the public until she was freed. 

But according to a new report released by Rights 4 Girls, a non-profit that pushes policy reform for marginalized girls, there are many other Black girls just like Brown-Long who are doing time after being sex trafficked and criminalized.

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