Capturing Girls' Experiences of "Community Violence" in the United States

Laurie Schaffner, University of Illinois at Chicago

That girls are expressing themselves violently is difficult for some to see and to analyze critically. This paper argues that we need to explore the extent to which girls absorb or internalise the devaluing messages of domestic violence, routine misogyny, homophobia and sexual harassment. It draws our attention to the blurred boundary between girls as perpetrators of violence and girls as victims, survivors or witnesses of violence. Not only do we need to expand the definition of "violence" to include girls' experiences, but also we must conduct further research into the factors that contribute to punishing girls for gender transgressions.

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Updated 05/20/2006