Not Yet a Lady but crying---sweet and gentle, tarnished?!
Startling statistics are still emerging since our conference in Los Angeles in 1999 on Women and Violence. The seminar was sponsored by the Walnut Creek Registry of Physician Specialists. I was a presenter amongst others to wardens, judges, counsellors, probation and parole officers, lawyers and psychiatrists from across the country. We were alarmed at the escalating rate that young ladies were running away, joining gangs, becoming prostitutes and committing violent crimes. The rate of recidivism was even more frightening. Those who would birth and nurture were killing, maiming, theiving and callous.
In the September, 2013 issue of Essence Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director of Rights 4 Girls in Washington, DC confirmed our predictions:
- 81% of those young ladies currently delinquent are victims of physical abuse
- 73% have been sexually molested
- 40% have been raped
- To escape these harsh realities they continue to run away, behave badly, disrupt and skip school, 2/3's of these are minority children and teens and, not surprisingly, we receive the harsher sentences!
- CONTRARY TO WHAT IS TOUTED IN THE PRESS, THESE YOUNG SISTERS ARE NOT all USING OR SLINGING DOPE...NOR ARE THEY ALL GANGBANGERS...THEY ARE BATTERED FLOWERS LOOKING FOR A PRETTY PORCELAIN VASE CALLED A SAFE HOME WITH WATER, NURTURING WITHOUT ABUSE. DOES NOT SEEM LIKE MUCH TO ASK BUT MANY DO WIthOUT WHAT MOST TAKE FOR GRANTED.
Many girls become victimized in the system, raped by older women, guards, beaten. Those that manage to remain in the streets are sold to men and women alike to make money for their Johns, presently over 250,000 between the ages of 12-14.
YES, MARVIN GAYE, MAKES ME WANNA HOLLA, THROW UP BOTH MY HANDS!!!
PROTECT OUR DAUGHTERS!
LOOK for the obvious warning signs, aloofness, disinterest, fatigue,tearfulness, poor hygiene, disdain of normal attention and familial or friendly affection, disheveled, vague answers about their whereabouts and BFFs, out all times of day and night, poor or no attendance, declining grades, anger verging on rage, failure to bond.
IT TAKES A COMMUNITY. TRY TO ESTABLISH A RAPPORT WITH THE CHILD OR A FAMILY MEMBER. THAT FAILING GET THEM TO A CARING CHURCH YOUTH OR MISSIONARY MINISTRY. IF ALL ELSE FAILS AND YOU CANNOT TAKE THEM IN OR FIND A SAFE PLACE THEN REPORT THE SITUATION. NO, THAT IS NOT THE BEST SOLUTION, BUT IT WILL KEEP HER ALIVE.