As if adolescence and becoming healthy young women isn’t difficult enough, we have media continuing its pervasive, blatant objectification, and poor image projections of girls and young women as presented in television, games, music and everywhere. This combined with overall increasing acceptance of violence as a way of life, with ongoing tolerance plagues us, and is a growing public health problem. Girls and young women living in poverty are at even higher risk. OUR world needs love, peace and respect in our hearts for the futures of OUR girls enabling their growth into healthy virtuous young women who are living their dreams. Their safety, welfare and protection must be a common societal goal.
My beloved Asia would be 31 years old now. When last I saw her November 2004, she was a vibrant 21 year young woman. Over these last 10 years I’ve learned, a Mother’s love, never dies! OUR Creator, MOST HIGH has carried me to help fulfill HIS Master Plan, so much greater than any one of us. Throughout struggles of unmentionable grief, reintegration back into a community in major disrepair, PTSD, competing in the Non Profit business sector running with the dominant majority charities for declining funds, all seems overwhelming, sometimes even impossible.
When we began in April 2005, it was my way to physically, socially, psychologically heal, then reintegrate into my community. Thinking Asia’s loss, in some way could benefit a greater community of girls. This however proved a real balancing act, as I became an impassioned Mother with many years Public & Behavioral Health experience. The required balancing meant, I not be too far left or right, nor appear as a zealot…warning mankind about the coming Femicide, defined as the “killing of girls and young women because of their gender.” In the US, for all women that’s #4 daily, for African American young women (ages 15-24) it’s a leading cause of death. I was keenly aware and working to slow this evolving public health epidemic and social problem that is Teen Dating Violence (TDV). For forward progress, I began gathering data, reading, researching, and working with girls and young women, when I realized these were not isolated incidents, but trending.
By 2009, five years after Asia’s passing, 17.3% of Philadelphia public high school students were victims of dating violence, compared to 9.6% Statewide and 9.8% nationally. This means Philly’s TDV rate was almost 100% above national and state averages. Thank GOD in 2009, the Federal Government recognized the trend after advocacy and designated National Teen Dating Violence Awareness (TDV) month in February. Then my level of concern was confirmed. But in a world with so very many social and health problems, TDV is just one of too many.
In 2015, Asia’s Foundation continues working tirelessly to make a difference. Our community awareness campaigns, adaptations of evidenced based curriculum, information and programming, with research to effectively address the needs of teens, focusing on low income minority communities, continues. In addition to our advocacy for girl’s rights, we’ve directly educated more than 7500 children, teens and young adults, females and males. We plan to reach many more, while seeking allies who also care about this cause. Continuing degradation, misogynistic actions, worsening health outcomes, growing victimization and poverty rates, along with inadequate life skills training, all represent critical conditions. These circumstances require community support and collective efficacy (social cohesion) to decrease the risk of growing Femicide targeting OUR daughters.
We invite you to support OUR girls and young women to have a greater chance to accomplish this with your help. Your donation of time, money, and other resources in support of this huge undertaking is critically important to the health and safety of OUR girls. We are always seeking to partner with small and large nonprofit organizations, community groups, students, unions, and all of us so together we can make a real difference. We will never stop trying!