EMILY WAS HAVING TROUBLE CONCENTRATING IN SCHOOL. She didn’t feel like she fit in. She was intensely worried that the other kids in school would know how she felt and what was happening to her.
When her school counsellor told her about an opportunity to join in a girl’s group and learn about her strengths, she was skeptical. She agreed to try it out. She knew that she had to do something, but didn’t know what to do.
During Girls United, Emily learned about her rights, the group challenged her to think about her place in the world, and to discover her potential. When the group leader from the Elizabeth Fry Society organized an activity that helped the girls to learn about healthy relationships and abuse, Emily started to feel like there was someone that might understand what she was going through. Someone who might do something to help stop the abuse she was facing.
Emily approached the counsellor from Girls United, she asked if she could make an appointment to see the counsellor outside of the school. The counsellor agreed and they set up an appointment to meet at Elizabeth Fry the next day.
Emily felt relieved that there was a familiar face to meet with at Elizabeth Fry. Someone she could trust, who understood what she was going through, and who didn’t judge her.
The counsellor supported Emily by helping her to make a safety plan and providing guidance and options. Finally, Emily felt that she wasn’t alone in this. She started to feel strong enough to talk to her parents about what had been happening.
The hardest thing that Emily did was to take the step and tell another person that she was being sexually abused. She did so because she found someone she trusted, who respected her choices, and that knew what steps to take to promote Emily’s safety.
Emily was isolated and felt ashamed, but now she is surrounded by a circle of support from her family and her counsellor.