SERVICES FOR GIRLS
GUIDING YOUNG GIRLS
GYG realizes that females are a group that requires special treatment and programs. Research has shown that females are more likely than males to have serious mental health disorders and they are twice as likely to suffer from clinical depression and anxiety when separated from their families and home environments. Female are also more likely to have been abused, both sexually and physically and usually their pathways to inappropriate behavior and delinquency involves running away, drug and alcohol use, prostitution and now at an alarming rate gang participation.
As a result of the abuse and victimization of adolescent girls, these females tends to lead to low self-esteem, anger directed inward, thus resulting in substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and self mutilating and often suicidal behavior. In addition these females often have high levels of distrust; display anti-social attitudes and associate with anti-social peers; run away from home; become involved in abusive relationships, often with boyfriends involved in criminal behavior; display physical and verbal aggression; and exhibit delinquent behavior.
Females were once considered to be less aggressive and violent than male offenders; however recent nationwide statistics indicate that young females are increasingly partaking in criminal activities and are becoming more involved in the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, upon release from many juvenile justice and residential care placements, these young female offenders are quite often sent back into their communities with minimal female-specific comprehensive aftercare services available that specifically meet their needs. Because of the lack of sufficient community-based gender specific services such as GYG, the likelihood of these females’ continued inappropriate behaviors will continue to escalate, they will continue to be incapable of appropriately dealing with the factors that cause females to runaway, make them susceptible to domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse and the myriad of mental health issues that arise as a result of regularly unaddressed issues that cause our females to be categorized as “high-risk.”
However the most alarming aspect of this population are the high numbers of females that continue this high risk violent behavior and simply fall thru the cracks by dropping out of school, avoiding the juvenile system until they become young adults at which time they go into prison and/or becoming pregnant and becoming trapped in the “Government Assistance Program” with the same untreated mental health issues, the same violent behavior traits or the worse of all scenarios they die violently without ever getting real qualified prevention services. Thus leaving young children to be raised by the DSS system or ageing grandparents who often are ill equipped for such a task, not to mention the mental health issues that arise for children who survive parental deaths, parental incarcerations and/or parental involvement in alcohol and/or substance abuse.