Updated: Mar 16, 2018
The #MeToo movement exposed the prevalence of abuses toward females (as if there was any doubt, said most females). Social media lit up with accounts of female victimization - all ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds – abuses across the board.
So - WHAT NOW?
In a culture where 1 out of 4 girls will experience rape in her college years, how are we to feel safe? We know we are not.
And how does this knowing affect us? How are we to reach for our dreams and be all that we can be when danger lurks around every corner? How can we even leave our homes in the morning knowing these statistics?
Nice Girls Don’t Always Win!
As emphasized in the teen safety manual, Taking Flight For Girls Going Places, nice girls don’t always win: “How many times have you been told to “be nice”? Don’t yell, don’t pinch, don’t hit, don’t bite, don’t spit, don’t throw rocks, don’t curse, don’t kick, don’t fight. Such behaviors would never be tolerated at home or school, and they would in fact get you in a lot of trouble. So we become good girls, “nice girls,” and we keep our voices down and our hands by our sides. If we get the urge to stand up for ourselves, we stuff it and often end up directing those feelings inward.
Well, what do we do when someone crosses our boundaries? What about when we are spoken to in inappropriate or disrespectful ways? What about when we are touched without our permission? How are we supposed to speak up in the face of danger when our voices have been silenced or at least muffled?”
Has your voice been silenced? Let’s hear it: “NO!” AGAIN! Sometimes in life we need to send a message loud and clear. And sometimes nice, kind words don’t do the job. Sometimes we need to step it up and let someone know we mean business. Sometimes we need to get ugly.
Be Responsible for Your Safety!
Every day we view headlines of females who have been hurt: mugged, stalked, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, raped, or murdered. Frankly, we are bombarded with these stories. In looking deeper into these accounts, we know that some of these acts of violence were unpreventable, and certainly not the victims’ fault. On the other hand, many of them could have been avoided with some basic self-protective, self-empowerment skills. These preventive safety skills are available - it is up to each one of us to learn them!
Follow us on Instagram and Like our page on Facebook @girlsgoingplaces.us and share with the girls and young women in your life! See you next Thursday with more safety and self-empowerment tips for your journey toward full potential!
Kathy Greene Lahey, LMSW, AC, author of Taking Flight For Girls Going Places, a preventive tool for independence-bound girls to help them stay safe, empowered, and free.