December 31, 2017
All girls deserve to grow up safe and free from violence!
Our girls live in a world characterized by persistent poverty and exclusion from opportunity. They live among and with violence on a daily basis; they see this violence as normal. Many of them view fighting as a necessary protection: the best defense is a good offense. Girls suffer many consequences of this cycle of violence.
Girls’ LEAP interrupts the cycle of violence and teaches girls that there are safer and more productive ways to manage themselves and the world around them. Our commitment is to helping girls understand that they have a right to be safe, teaching them how to resolve conflict without violence—and how to defend themselves if necessary. We do this by wrapping the girls in a world of supportive women. Teen mentors, college women, and adult women are positive role models in our programs who teach girls that they have options to grow up differently.
Who: a non-profit that delivers girls empowerment and violence prevention programs in afterschool and summer camp settings hosted by community partners – targeting girls and young women, aged 8-18.
What: deliver 20-hour self-defense and empowerment curriculum to teach girls physical safety and self-defense skills and socio-emotional, reflective skills to develop conflict resolution, healthy relationships, self-esteem and courage.
Why: because 1 in 3 girls in the U.S. will experience physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a partner and 6 to 17 year olds in the U.S. account for 50% of all sexual assaults, with 10-14 year olds at highest risk.
When: founded in 1997 as a women’s community response to a wave of assaults against women; our co-founders created a research-based curriculum to meet the needs of girls.
Where: located in Dorchester, MA – the neighborhoods where at-risk girls are most in need of our programming – and deliver our programs all over Greater Boston, including every neighborhood in Boston.
How: taught by all-female, inter-generational teaching teams of an adult lead teacher, college undergraduate mentors and teen mentors to develop near age mentoring relationships and build a supportive learning environment.