Article 39 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to take measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse.
This includes when child victims commit acts of violence against their abusers that otherwise may not be covered by traditional self-defense laws. In all cases where child victims engage in violence against their abusers, regardless of whether the act was premeditated, courts should have as much flexibility as possible in creating a trauma informed and age-appropriate response, including suspending any sentence or transferring a child victim into the juvenile or child welfare system for treatment and services.
Such policies are known as “Sara’s Law” named in honor of a child sex trafficking victim who killed her trafficker and rapist and was then sentenced to life without parole. Thankfully, she is no longer incarcerated and advocates alongside us to make sure that no child endures the human rights abuses that she experienced.