Girls Incorporated believes that girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and be safe in the world. Girls are entitled to feel safe as they go through life, and they are entitled to be safe in their homes, schools, and communities. Yet violence enters the lives of girls and young women on a daily basis, giving many the message that violence is normal and acceptable. Girls especially experience gender-based violence, including physical and sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and partner or dating violence. Girls get mixed messages about how to respond to violence—“depend on others to protect you,” “get tough because you can count only on yourself,” “give in because your world can never be safe.” Girls and young women deserve program opportunities that equip them to increase their personal safety. More specifically, program opportunities need to engage girls in analyzing the causes and effects of violence and expand their individual skills and strategies for protecting themselves.
In addition to stronger personal skills, girls deserve communities and a world that treat everyone with respect and that take responsibility for providing a safe environment. Programs also need to engage girls and young women as important agents of change—developing their collective strategies and skills to help their communities live up to expectations for better treatment. Girls can both feel safer and be safer, we believe, through programs that address both self-protection and community change.
Girls Inc. of Santa Fe partners with IMPACT Personal Safety (when funding permits) as a part of Project Bold.