Girls' LEAP speaks out on violence against women
We sat down with program member Jackie Hernandez '12 to talk about Youth Speak Out, a youth-led interactive workshop to raise awareness about how common violence is in the lives of young women, and why it is important to speak out on the issue.
"I think what people don't know is that sexual violence against women is usually by someone the victim knows. Most people think it's a stranger you meet down a creepy alleyway. 86% of sexually assaulted women aged 12-17 knew their attacker."
That is certainly an alarming statistic! The event is being led by teen mentors who work with Simmons students at schools throughout the Boston area to empower young women. The program teaches girls self defense, self reflective skills, saying no, setting personal boundaries, and self confidence.
On a similar note, I asked Jackie what her thoughts are on the recent controversy involving Yale University and the lawsuit claiming the school violated Title IX after failing to take action against several sexual harassment incidents on campus. Jackie told me:
"I think the school should take action. These incidents disrespect a person and their values and morals. It places a stereotype on a woman that she is not asking for."
What do you think about what's going on at Yale? Let us know in the comments below.
The Youth Speak Out event will be held on Tuesday, April 12 from 4:45 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. in the Faculty/Staff Dining room in the Fens lobby.
To learn more about the Simmons chapter of Girls' LEAP like them on Facebook or follow the organization on Twitter. Also, make sure to attend Youth Speak Out on April 12 to learn what you can do to educate the community on this issue.
*Note, Simmons alumna Kaitie Chakoian is a full-time staff member at the nonprofit.