Training Girls As First Responders

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Frequently, girls will be more comfortable sharing their intimate experiences, including those related to GBV with other girls on their team or in their programme. Friends, peer leaders and teammates can be a supportive and comforting first line of response. However, most girls, unless educated about how to handle the situation, won’t know how to handle it in such a way that the survivor gets the help she truly needs. It is important for girls to know that if a friend tells them they have been abused, they should encourage that friend to share their experience with a trusted adult who can escort the girl to the necessary medical, legal or safety services. It is imperative that these peers retain confidentiality. The only people that they should confide in are professionals who can offer help and services.

During discussion sessions with girls, programme partners report asking girls how they would respond if a friend told them they were abused, and giving them vital information about what appropriate steps might be. Girls may have very supportive and creative ideas of how to help their friends. These should be listened to and respected and redirected positively, when not entirely sound. It can be helpful to lead girls in doing role plays and allowing girls to act out fictitiously, what they might experience in real life. It may also be beneficial to train girls to recognise signals from abused girls. Before, during and after each session, make room for questions and free space for girls to share thoughts.

Training Girls As First Responders | Women Win Guides

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