Violence against women is an ongoing significant problem facing society as a whole, and is seen as a global crisis impacting millions and costing billions. In the US alone, the cost of intimate partner violence was estimated at $5.8 billion in 2003 (UN Women, 2014). In the United States, 83% of girls ages 12-16 have experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools, with 25% of 8th and 9th graders reporting having been victims of non-sexual dating violence (UN Women, 2014, Futures Without Violence, 2012). Violence in the home and in intimate relationships is far too prevalent, and is contributing to a laundry list of social problems ranging from rape and teen pregnancy to poor educational outcomes and fiscal strain.
Evidence points to early education and intervention surrounding gender role equality and healthy relationships as prime deterrents to violence against women in the adult years (UN Women, 2014). Small group participatory workshops centered on developing girl’s sense of empowerment, confidence and self-esteem have proven to be particularly effective in promoting gender equality. On a macro level, much is being done to alter the current prevalence rate, but there is still plenty we can do at the community level. Wherever you are, do what you can to facilitate change. Start a group, volunteer, promote organizations and groups that are already providing services, share an article on Facebook. Do your part to teach a child the power of their own voice and help them build the confidence to use it.
Being a woman today has more opportunities than ever before. However, learning how to be a woman in a culture of mixed messages, violence, and constant social pressures via social media can be confusing, and can tear a young woman down. We want to enhance and empower young girls to feel safe within themselves, to become the woman they are meant to be. When young girls learn effective strategies in creating a sustainable positive self-image, and cultivate a firm concept of who they truly are, they carry themselves confidently into the world. They are able to easily respect themselves and others, while keeping themselves open to experiencing all that life has to offer.
Have a girl in mind that you think could use a boost or an opportunity to explore her identity as a woman? Coherence Associates, Inc is offering a six-week dynamic group aimed at accomplishing just that. Visit the link below for more information!
For further information in regards to statistics, the global crisis, and what is being done about it, visit:
Reannon Kerwood, MA, LMFT
Coherence Associates, Inc.
Phone: (760) 942-8663