AnnaLise is the Program Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Centre London’s Girls Creating Change. Girls Creating Change is an 8-week discussion group for young women aged 14- 18 in which the girls lead in naming and raising issues important to them, while facilitators offer support and resources. Topics include:
- gender identity and what it means to be a woman
- boundaries and being assertive
- healthy sexuality
- power/privilege and its effects on our lives
- violence, self-harm and bullying
- leadership and taking action
Rather than viewing girls as potential victims of sexual violence, this program seeks to position girls as capable actors, imbuing in them a sense of capacity and agency. This is all part of promoting in girls the resilience and tools necessary for larger societal violence prevention. In keeping with this approach, AnnaLise is also in her third year of a PhD in Women’s Studies at Western University, looking at how girls conceive of their own agency, and how community programming aimed at girls can be used to foster girls’ sense of their own empowerment and agency.