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Trauma & Mental Health

Girls’ experience of trauma is unique, and significant in scope. Their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) scores reflect significant differences from boys — especially for girls of color, as well as girls in the juvenile justice system, who are more likely to have experienced each form of trauma captured in the ACEs survey. The gender gap in rates of sexual abuse, in particular, is overwhelming. Because childhood trauma can have long-term effects on a wide range of mental health outcomes, we examine how public systems can better support girls who have experienced trauma.

About Our Work on
Trauma & Mental Health

The Initiative focuses on the trauma that women and girls experience and how to improve access to mental healthcare.

Women and girls of color, in particular, face unique stressors that are compounded by experiences rooted in racism, discrimination, and sexism that often remain unacknowledged; they are also more often unaddressed, due to barriers that are unique to communities of color.

When unidentified and unaddressed, trauma can lead to poor education and health outcomes and invovlementwith the juvenile justice system.Because trauma often lies at the root of why girls are system-involved, we prioritize this issue area.

Collage of photos of women and girls of color


Our Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline Report, Mental Health Briefs, Restorative Justice Issue Brief, and Gender & Trauma Report further explore these issues.

Schools for Girls of Color Learning Network

The Schools for Girls of Color Learning Network provides a secure platform for school system leaders and educators to learn about trauma-informed approaches for girls of color.

Join the Network