Girls of Color and Trauma

As the oldest continually operating student affiliated YWCA, we are proud to support student and community advocacy initiatives and actions. We continue the tradition of social action and advocacy to advance our mission. We support and advocate for all of YWCA USA's established advocacy priorities at the state and national levels.

At the local level we are especially concerned with the effects of the criminalization of girls of color, and their lack of access to community resources that can keep them out of the abuse-to-prison pipeline. 

Get updates at our blog. 

“One in four American girls will experience some form of sexual violence by the age of 18. ...And in a perverse twist of justice, many girls who experience sexual abuse are routed into the juvenile justice system because of their victimization. Indeed, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system.”  

-The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story

Punitive rather than restorative responses to conflict contribute to the separation of [black girls] from school, and their disproportionate involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

-Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected 

Our recommended reading list: reports and studies

Girls of Color and Trauma, YWCA USA Briefing

Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected (full report), African American Policy Forum (Executive Summary

The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story. Human Rights Project for Girls

Fight for Our Girls: Applying an Intersectional Lens to Girls of Color Facing Status Offences, Center for the Study of Social Policy 

Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequity 

National efforts

Rights4Girls is a human rights organization working to end sex trafficking and gender-based violence in the U.S. 

The National Crittenton Foundation advances the self-empowerment, health, economic security and civic engagement of girls and young women impacted by violence, childhood adversity, and trauma. 

SAMHSA'S 6 Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach is an introduction to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's series on Building Resilient and Trauma-Informed Communities.