The statistic hit national headlines after the Centers for Disease Control released the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) last week: Adolescent girls in the U.S. are battling hopelessness, violence and despair – they’re experiencing more sexual violence, and their mental health is declining because of it. 

Youth risk behavior survey. Data, summary and trends report. Opportunities for primary prevention in the anti-sexual violence field. Prevent Connect logo.

The YRBS numbers tell a harrowing story about the health and safety of girls and marginalized students but, for those of us working in the field, they are not surprising. A recent study, Violence Experiences Across the Lifespan in California (CALVEX), revealed that sexual and intimate partner violence is increasing in California, especially in marginalized communities. Our communities are struggling, that is not new information to our movement. We know that young people, girls, LGBTQ+ people and black brown and indigenous people are experiencing violence at higher rates and it impacts their health outcomes across their lives. 

“The high level of trauma that this data illustrates requires us to take action to end cycles of violence,” said Sandra Henriquez, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ValorUS® (VALOR). “We know that preventing sexual violence works and it is time to invest in comprehensive prevention resources.”

Read PreventConnect’s full blog post here

PreventConnect is a project of ValorUS® (VALOR), the nation’s leading online community to advance primary prevention of sexual and domestic violence.