We encourage parents to talk to their daughters about what they are learning and to support these skills at home.
Girls learn to lead safer lives by developing skills and strategies for self-defense, including physical techniques. Girls also learn how to seek out and talk to caring adults about personal violence and to advocate against gender-specific violence issues.
Girls Inc. 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. In Canada, girls and young women are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape or sexual abuse. Girls especially experience gender-based violence which, in addition to physical and sexual abuse, includes sexual harassment including 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 and the safety of others. 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 feel safer and be safer, we believe, through programs that address both self-protection and community change.
Action for Safety builds negotiation, assertiveness, and self-defense skills. It facilitates open and honest discussions to increase girls’ understanding about interpersonal violence as well as encourage, support, and lessen the fear and isolation of girls experiencing violence.
- Girls learn skills and strategies to lead safer lives in their homes, in relationships, in their communities, and online.
- Girls learn specific self-defense techniques and how to seek out and talk to caring adults about personal and gender-based violence.