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NEW YORK (AP) – The arrest of singer R. Kelly on charges of sexually abusing girls as young as 13 has focused the lens of the (hash)MeToo movement on young victims.
Studies show that 7 in 10 girls are sexually harassed by age 18, and 1 in 4 are sexually abused. Experts believe the rates are higher for girls of color.
The national nonprofit Girls Inc. has launched a (hash)GirlsToo campaign to ensure that young survivors are included in the conversation around (hash)MeToo. Public policy director Lara Kaufmann says it’s challenging for younger victims to come forward because they fear they’ll get in trouble or be ostracized.
In Brooklyn, Girls for Gender Equity runs a program called “Sisters in Strength” to help girls heal. The curriculum teaches how to build healthy relationships.