For Poor Young Women of Color, Failure Has A Whole Other Meaning
Girls who try to improve their situation by leaving the home they share with their abuser often find themselves arrested for running away or truancy, which a 2015 report by the White House Council on Women and Girls notes, “can be symptoms or outcomes of trauma and abuse. Once in the system, girls may be treated as offenders, rather than girls in need of support, perpetuating a vicious cycle that is increasingly known as the ‘sexual abuse to prison pipeline.’” The report also cites that these laws are more aggressively enforced towards young people of color.
Black Girls Feel the Impact of Adultification, Especially in School
Research has already shown that black girls are seen by adults as less childlike than white girls. This phenomenon, known as “adultification,” was first documented two years ago by researchers at Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality. Now, a followup study reveals that, not surprisingly, black girls and women sharply feel the impact of “adultification.” As one study participant put it, “[T]o society, we’re not innocent. And white girls are always innocent.”