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July 10, 2015

“The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story”

Download (13)The title of this post is the title of this notable new report coming from a collaboration by the Human Rights Project for Girls, the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the Ms. Foundation for Women.  Here is the report's introduction:

Violence against girls is a painfully American tale. It is a crisis of national proportions that cuts across every divide of race, class, and ethnicity.  The facts are staggering: one in four American girls will experience some form of sexual violence by the age of 18.  Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12; nearly half of all female rape survivors were victimized before the age of 18.  And girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

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.4 A particularly glaring example is when girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested on prostitution charges — punished as perpetrators rather than served and supported as victims and survivors.

Once inside, girls encounter a system that is often ill-equipped to identify and treat the violence and trauma that lie at the root of victimized girls’ arrests. More harmful still is the significant risk that the punitive environment will re-trigger girls’ trauma and even subject them to new incidents of sexual victimization, which can exponentially compound the profound harms inflicted by the original abuse.

This is the girls’ sexual abuse to prison pipeline.

This report exposes the ways in which we criminalize girls — especially girls of color — who have been sexually and physically abused, and it offers policy recommendations to dismantle the abuse to prison pipeline. It illustrates the pipeline with examples, including the detention of girls who are victims of sex trafficking, girls who run away or become truant because of abuse they experience, and girls who cross into juvenile justice from the child welfare system. By illuminating both the problem and potential solutions, we hope to make the first step toward ending the cycle of victimization-to-imprisonment for marginalized girls.

July 10, 2015 at 09:47 AM | Permalink


Pain. Abuse. Victim. Female. Marginalization. The only two buzz words this study is missing is patriarchy and cultural hegemony.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 10, 2015 10:19:51 AM

Send these hussies to the houses of the authors. See if they can make them do homework, let alone have sex for money. Seriously, we are sick of this lying left propaganda.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 11, 2015 9:20:42 AM

These poor, sweet, little victims make more money than Prof. Berman endowed chair. With the internet, the pimp business is gone. So, do the lawyer math. Hard work and poverty. Easy work helping people and a nice egg nest, plus the opportunity to meet rich old guys with bad tickers for marriage.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 11, 2015 9:32:26 AM

Meanwhile, the male customers ("johns") are subject to harsher and harsher sentences and, if they were unlucky to buy the services of someone who was actually 17, they are tarnished with Preadator-level sex offender lifetime registration for "facilitating human trafficking."

I have no sympathy for real human traffickers (pimps), and pimps who pimp out minors should feel the wrath of a major sentence. But when a john is subject to the same sentencing protocol, then there is something very wrong with the scheme and the purported goal of "rehabilitation." In short, both johns and trafficking victims never get true justice, but rather endure the same punitive scheme as the real bad guys.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Jul 12, 2015 2:34:35 PM

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