There’s really no way to prepare a little girl for the day when one of her peers will look at her and say, “I’m going to rape you” as though it was well …normal.
A recent incident concerning an elementary-aged loved one of mine at her after-school program served as a wake-up call for me. A peer from school who also attends the program said they were going to rape her. Although the offending child was subsequently removed from the after-school program (after some hell was raised) there hasn’t been much of an update since.
In the U.S., we’ve come to recognize the importance of educating our children on the dangers of such things, and providing them with resources and support. Unfortunately, there’s still much work to be done. Despite our country’s efforts to deter bullying and, specifically, sexual crimes against women, there’s a space between the two that calls for closer examination and action.
I’ve learned first-hand from this experience that sexual bullying cannot be lumped in with other forms of bullying and harassment. By doing so, it creates an inherent danger for what the CDC is currently researching and titling, The Bully-Sexual Violence Pathway.
My goal as a parent has been to encourage and empower those I love, especially my children and loved ones, to use their voice and find ways to turn challenges into stepping stones towards a bright future. So, for this installment of “Conversations with Kids,” my daughter and I decided to highlight a woman who is working hard to change the world for the better, and doing so with the safety and empowerment of girls and women in mind.
Enter Yasmine Mustafa, Co-Founder and CEO of ROAR for Good. ROAR is start-up company that designs fashionable safety jewelry as part of its mission to empower women, reduce assaults and transform society. Although extremely busy with her advocacy and educational work (not to mention the monumentally successful crowd-funding campaign for their first product, Athena) Yasmine passionately answered the request to chat with my daughter Arionna and I, in hopes of inspiring a girl or woman in need. Thank you, Yasmine.
More of my PhillyVoice.com articles: