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RESPECT co-author, Courtney Macavinta, blogs for girls and women about how to build your self-respect and spread respect for all! At The Respect Institute she teaches people of all ages how to integrate The Respect Basics into their lives, work and advocacy. More about About Courtney

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Help!

Respect Basic No. 7: Getting Help

Part of respecting yourself means figuring out what you need. Often what we need is help. This might mean getting help in a situation that's dangerous, or digging deeper for more information on a subject. It could just mean asking someone a question (Like, "Hey Mom, What would you do if [fill in the blank]?").

If you know that you need help but you're having difficulty reaching out, it's understandable. Asking for help isn't easy for most people. To tell someone your feelings, some really personal stuff that you might be scared of, and that takes a ton of courage. Sometimes girls will try to convince themselves that they don't need help—that whatever happened was no big deal. But if you ever thought twice about what's bugging you, it most likely is a big deal to you. So listen to your gut and do what you need to do. Getting help is not about being weak. It's about making yourself stronger with good info and support. We ALL need Help!

This section is full of resources to help you do some major exploring or to get help. And here are more tips to live by:

Talk to an Expert
To get help dealing with abuse or to work through painful feelings (such as depression, eating disorders, relationship issues, etc.) you usually need to talk to someone you can trust. When you've been hurt or are feeling sad or upset, talking to a friend or family member might be a great start. But if you need more support, confidentiality, or guidance about how to recover and heal it's a good idea to speak with a trained therapist or counselor.

Find a therapist or counselor. You can ask your doctor or school nurse for recommendations, get referrals from some the helplines and Web sites listed below, such as the American Psychological Association or National Association of Social Workers. You can also call (800) THERAPIST for reliable referrals.

If you're worried about counseling costing tons of money, you can also check with local universities that have medical or psychology clinics to see if they offer services to the public for free or on a "sliding scale" (based on what you can afford). Or look in the phone book for community clinics that might offer services at lower costs than a private practice. Also, a lot of cities have institutes for postgraduates in psychology and social work, who are in "training," but are supervised by professionals to make sure they are giving you the best advice.

Ask questions. Before you start sharing your story, think about asking some questions first. Not all therapists will be right for you. And some might not be qualified to give you the help you need for a specific problem. So if you're going to seek help from a therapist, be sure to interview him or her before making your choice. Also, keep in mind if you feel more comfortable with a male or female therapist and what, exactly, you need to work on. In other words, you want to seek someone who specializes in your need or what you've been going through (like child abuse or depression). And ask for a freebie "get to know you" session or call and ask questions like:

• What is your educational and professional background? What are your credentials? (The therapist should have a doctorate, degree and/or license in a therapy-related field, such as psychiatry, marriage and family counseling, or clinical social work.)
• What areas do you specialize in?
• Are you in good standing with your licensing board, and have there ever been any complaints filed against you? (You can check with the board by calling; just lookit up online.)
• What professional organizations do you belong to? (Check with that organization.)
• What is your style of therapy? (Like, do they do more listening or talking?)
• What's your fee? (If you don't have a lot of money or insurance, ask if the therapist has a sliding scale.)

Trust your gut. You need to feel comfortable and safe so you can trust your therapist enough to open up and to get the help you need. You need to "click." Here are some red flags that mean you need to find another therapist. The person:

...doesn't seem like she/he is listening closely or forgets major details from prior sessions.
...flirts with you in subtle or not so subtle ways.
... touches you inappropriately.
...tries to start a relationship with you outside of your sessions.

Explore a Topic
When you dig deeper into a subject, you need to start somewhere—and that's what this section is all about. Here are some things to keep in mind as you explore.

Helplines. In Help!, you'll find national organizations and helplines that you can call for more information or immediate help. Numbers that have area codes 800, 888, 877 and 866 are toll-free, which means you can call at no charge and it doesn't show up on your phone bill. Also, when you call, be sure to ask if your call is kept confidential.

Books & publications. Some books might have kinda outdated covers or refer to you as a "kid," but don't let that turn you off from the important info inside. In other words, don't judge a book by its cover. Remember that you don't have to buy every book—check your local library for a copy. Some organizations even offer electronic copies of pamphlets, or materials that you can download from their Web sites. Also, to find out what else is out there on a given subject, go to Amazon (www.amazon.com) and do a subject matter search in Books (they have a teen section under books as well).

Web sites. Some Internet access points, such as the computers at public libraries or schools, might have "filters" that weed out various Web sites, or your parents might have installed a filter program on your computer at home. These filters are far from flawless, and as a result some helpful and reputable Web sites can get blocked. If you're not worried about your privacy, let your parents or a librarian know what you're looking for and perhaps they can unblock the site for you. Or, try accessing it from an unfiltered computer.

Keep in mind that not all sites have all the information you'll need on a given subject. And some sites belong to organizations that have a religious, political, or ideological agenda and put different spins on what they publish. That's why it's important to always get info from more than one source. A lot of content on the Web is less than trustworthy, and some of it can be downright sexist, racist, or disrespectful in other ways. When you access a site, ask yourself: Is it the information from a reputable source and respectful to girls?

Tips for searching the Web. Some resource sections have a "Look It Up" feature that provides some helpful search terms that you can type into a popular Internet search engine, such as Google (www.google.com) or Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), or your local library's online catalog. Enter search terms exactly as you see them (with quote signs and plus signs) to get the best results. Phrases that have more than one word should be typed within quotes. If you don't have access to the Internet at home, you can get access to the Internet at schools, university libraries, copy centers, and at Internet cafes.

Some search terms can also be used if you're looking for a listing in the phone book. You can find important local listings, such as those for domestic violence hotlines, either in the front of the White Pages (in the Government section), or in the Yellow Pages. Keep in mind that local phone books sometimes have confusing ways of categorizing things, so you might need to try a couple of different terms for what you're looking for. You can also search for local listings online at: Google Local (http://local.google.com), WhitePages.com (www.whitepages.com), and Yellow Pages (www.yellowpages.com). Note: We think Google Local is by far the best search engine for finding local listings.

MORE INFO >
Go to the full Help! section

llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Abuse + Harm + Violence, Help!

Help! Abuse, Harm + Mental Health

Part of respecting yourself means figuring out what you need. That might mean getting help in a situation that's dangerous, or digging deeper for more information on a subject. This section is full of resources to help you do some major exploring or to get help.

HELPLINES
Al-Anon/Alateen
888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666)
www.al-anon-alateen.org
Support for families and friends of alcoholics. Use the Web site to find a local chapter near you or look it up in the phone book.

America's Pregnancy Helpline
800-672-2296
www.thehelpline.org
Free and confidential help for pregnancy, prenatal health and reproductive options, including parenting, adoption, and abortion. Check out the Web site for more info and helpful tips on making a decision about pregnancy.

Girls and Boys Town Hotline
800-448-3000
www.girlsandboystown.org
Call anytime with any problem, including feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide. This hotline offers crisis resources and referrals and is staffed by trained counselors.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
847-831-3438
www.anad.org
Helpline open Monday through Friday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. (CST). Web site is loaded with information about eating disorders and treatment referrals for your area.

National Center for Victims of Crime
800-FYI-CALL (800-394-2255)
www.ncvc.org/tvp
Offers a toll-free helpline, a comprehensive collection of online resources, and service provider referrals. Check out the center's Teen Victim Project to learn more about assault, bullying, sexual abuse, dating violence, stalking, and how to get help and take action to stop violence against girls.

National Child Abuse Hotline
800-422-4453
www.childhelpusa.org/programs_hotline.htm
A hotline for parents, children, professionals, and anyone concerned that child abuse is occurring.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE (800-799-1233)
www.ndvh.org
Crisis intervention, information about domestic violence, and referrals to local service providers for victims and those calling on their behalf.

National Substance Abuse Helpline
800-DRUG-HELP (800-378-4435)
A confidential helpline for help with questions or concerns related to substance abuse.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline
800-656-4673
www.rainn.org
This free, confidential counseling hotline is available 24/7. The Web site has tons of information about sexual abuse and what to do if you've been sexually assaulted.

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)
800-DONT-CUT (800-366-8288)
Get referrals to local programs that can help girls who self-injure or cut.

Teen Relationships Hotline
800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)
www.teenrelationships.org
Call the nationwide 24-hour hotline for support, assistance, information, counseling, shelter, and other services. The Web-based chat room is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings.

ORGANIZATIONS
American Psychological Association
www.apa.org
Wondering if shyness is normal, if you're getting enough sleep, if your perfectionism is harmful, or how to tell if you have depression? Learn about post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and emotional traumas, and how to find a therapist in your state.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Assists parents and families in understanding developmental, behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders that can affect teens. Also offers links to support groups.

KidsPeace
Educates teens, parents, and professionals about how to anticipate and avoid crisis whenever possible. Also provides mental and behavioral health treatment programs and crisis intervention services.

Bursting the Bubble
www.burstingthebubble.com
Good information on abuse in families. Includes quizzes, checklists and a guide for understanding and dealing with abusive situations.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
www.naswdc.org
You can do an online search of the NASW Register of Clinical Social Workers to find a social worker in your area who can provide mental health services.

Project NoSpank
www.nospank.net
You'll find everything you need to know about the widespread use of physical punishment and its consequences, including how to stop its use in America by creating awareness campaigns.

Teen Central Helpline
A Web site for teenagers created by teenagers and monitored by professionals. Helps teens in crisis by giving them a private, anonymous place to receive sound, tested advice from professionals and to relate with their peers in a safe, professionally counseled environment.

U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women
202-307-6026
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo
Handles the Department's legal and policy issues regarding violence against women, including responding to requests for information regarding violence against women. Works closely with state, tribal, and local jurisdictions to implement the mandates of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation.

V-Day
www.vday.org
Nonprofit corporation that distributes funds to grassroots, national, and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls.

BOOKS
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
This book offers advice, resources, and practical guidance for sexual abuse victims on getting help and building self-esteem. Plus, it recommends supportive strategies for families and friends.

In Love and in Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships by Barrie Levy
A guide designed to help with numerous relationship issues.

Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe by Linden Gross
From the founder of Stalking Victims Sanctuary, this book covers everything from cyber stalking to creating safety plans. Or see: www.stalkingvictims.com.

When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Bev Cobain
A book for teens on how to recognize depression, get help and stay well.

When Something Feels Wrong: A Survival Guide About Abuse for Young People by Deanna S. Pledge
Support and healing for teens when it comes to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Checklists, journaling exercises, and encouragement help the healing process.

llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Body Image + Health, Help!

Help! Body Image + Health

Part of respecting yourself means figuring out what you need. That might mean getting help in a situation that's dangerous, or digging deeper for more information on a subject. This section is full of resources to help you do some major exploring or to get help.

HELPLINES
Al-Anon/Alateen
888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666)
www.al-anon-alateen.org
Support for families and friends of alcoholics. Use the Web site to find a local chapter near you or look it up in the phone book.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
847-831-3438
www.anad.org
Helpline open Monday through Friday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. (CST). Web site is loaded with information about eating disorders and treatment referrals for your area.

National Substance Abuse Helpline
800-DRUG-HELP (800-378-4435)
A confidential helpline for help with questions or concerns related to substance abuse.

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)
800-DONT-CUT (800-366-8288)
Get referrals to local programs that can help girls who self-injure or cut.

ORGS + WEB SITES
About Face
www.about-face.org
Check out the Make Changes section for advice on how to improve your body image and speaking up to companies that promote dangerous body ideals.

The Body Positive
510-548-0101
www.thebodypositive.org
Teaches girls how to develop a better body image and healthy relationships with food.

Club Drugs
www.clubdrugs.org
Learn about the latest club drugs and the negative effects they can have on your mind and body. A service of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Girls on the Run
704-376-9817
www.girlsontherun.org
With chapters nationwide, this organization helps educate and prepare girls age 8 to 13 for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living through a 12-week running and mentoring program.

gURL
www.gurl.com
Find out how your brain and body work—including dealing with tough emotions, health, sex, relationships, and body choices.

National Drug Hotline
800-662-4357
A confidential helpline for help with drug- and alcohol-related issues.

National Eating Disorders Association
206-382-3587
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Get information on all forms of eating disorders and treatment, and get referrals for doctors, counselors, nutritionists, and facilities in your area.

SelfHarm
www.selfharm.org
Information about self-mutilation, including support groups, true stories of survival, and getting help.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
www.saddonline.com
From alcohol abuse to whether you go without a seatbelt, this Web site covers some of the ways teens can make destructive decisions and what they can do take care of themselves.

Teen Health
www.teenhealth.org
Articles, answers, facts, and advice on everything related to your health—physical, mental, and sexual.

WebMD
www.webmd.com
If there's one Web site that has it all about your mind and body, it's WebMD. Using its search engine, you can find excellent information on anything from depression, to emergency contraception, to self-injury. When searching, be sure to check out the WebMD Search Results first (before you go clicking around links provided by sponsors).

Women's Sports Foundation
800-227-3988
www.womenssportsfoundation.org
Find out about every sport under the sun and how to get involved, and learn about athletic scholarships. Check out the GoGirlGo! section to read about girl sports stars

BOOKS + MAGAZINES
Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity by Ophira Edut
A celebration of the fact that female bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Plus, stories of body outlaws who don't conform to unhealthy norms.

Am I Thin Enough Yet?: The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity by Sharlene Hesse-Biber
How schools, pop culture, and the health and fitness industry all undermine young women's self-confidence by telling her that her body is more important than her mind.

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
Journalist Naomi Wolf argues that women's insecurities are made worse and then exploited by the cosmetic, diet, and plastic surgery industries. And then girls spend all their time obsessing over their looks instead of other important issues, like self-respect.

Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers by Karen Conterio and Wendy Lader
A good overview of the growing problem of self-mutilation among girls and women.

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Starting with a statistic that 53 percent of girls are dissatisfied with their bodies, the book looks at "why?" Brumberg combs through girls' diaries dating from 1830 to the present day and explains why now more than ever girls' main projects are their bodies.

Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy by Cynthia Kuhn, et. al.
Learn about the effects and risks of drug use so you can make healthy body choices.

Deal With It! A Whole New Approach to Body, Brain, and Life as a Gurl by Esther Drill, Heather McDonald, and Rebecca Odes
The ultimate guide for all things girls have to deal with, from understanding feelings to sex and how your body is changing. It'll suck you in because it's so cool, straightforward, and real, and because it has tons of resource listings and illustrations.

Easy for You to Say: Q & As for Teens Living with Chronic Illness or Disability by Miriam Kaufman
Written in a Q&A format, this book tackles the concerns of teens with chronic illness or disability. Subjects include, family, sexuality, friends, and dating.

New Mobility magazine
www.newmobility.com
This progressive magazine and its Web site are the leading resources for disability culture and lifestyle issues. Online you can research a number of disability topics or join the message board.

Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou
Four inspirational and empowering poems, including "Phenomenal Woman," about loving the female form.

The Right Moves to Getting Fit and Feeling Great by Tina Schwager and Michele Schuerger
Learn how to eat and exercise in self-respecting ways so you can take care of your body, mind and soul.

A Very Hungry Girl: How I Filled Up on Life and How You Can, Too! by Jessica Weiner
A personal look at how all girls want to be loved, feel worthy, and fit in. Find out how Jessica figured this out for herself amid a long battle with eating disorders and low self-esteem.

When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Bev Cobain, R.N.,C.
A book for teens on how to recognize depression, get help and stay well.

101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body by Brenda Lane Richardson and Elane Rehr
Great advice for your parents to help them help you build body respect. Buy this book for them now!


Adapted from Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed by Courtney Macavinta and Andrea Vander Pluym © 2005. Used with permission of Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 1-866-703-7322; www.freespirit.com. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Bullying + Sexual Harassment, Help!

Help! Bullying + Sexual Harassment

ORGS + WEB SITES
http://www.cyberbully411.com/

The Empower Program
202-686-1908
www.empowered.org
Works with teens to end the culture of violence and cruelty that includes bullying, rumors, fights, cliques, and more.

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA)
800-839-4ERA (800-839-4372)
www.equalrights.org
The ERA protects equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy. Free, 24/7 legal advice and counseling about sexual harassment and discrimination at school or work.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
212-727-0135
www.glsen.org
Works to ensure safe schools for all students by taking action against anti-LGBT bullying. Get involved by telling your story or joining a campaign.

National Women's Law Center
202-588-5180
www.nwlc.org
Get advice on how to advocate for a sexual harassment policy at your school and fight for other educational rights.

U.S. Department of Education: Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
800-USA-LEARN (800-872-5327)
www.ed.gov
Learn your education rights and how to file a sexual harassment or discrimination complaint.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Youth at Work
800-669-4000
www.youth.eeoc.gov
Learn your rights at work and how to file a sexual harassment or discrimination complaint.

BOOKS
Odd Girl Speaks Out
by Rachel Simmons
Poems, songs, confessions, and essays from girls about in-fighting among girls and how to stop it.

Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying
by Cheryl Dellasega and Charisse Nixon
A good read for parents and teachers. You’ll learn to give girls the courage to be kind, teach communication and conflict resolution skills, be a positive role model, provide doses of “emotion lotion” to soothe and support, offer a tool kit of options, and more. Includes compelling true stories from mothers and girls, plus a chapter for dads.

Queen Bees and Wannabes
by Rosalind Wiseman
This book for parents takes you inside the secret world of girls’ friendships, translating and decoding them, so you can better understand and help your daughters navigate through their teen years.

Look It Up: Web Search Terms
"sexual harassment" + "at school"
"sexual harassment" + "at work" + teens
"bullying"
"cyberbullying"


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Equal Rights, Help!

Help! Equal Rights

ORGS + WEB SITES
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
www.aclu.org
The ACLU defends the civil liberties of all people. Check the Web site for phone numbers of local offices in your state.

Amnesty International
212-807-8400
www.amnestyusa.org/youth
Fights for human rights worldwide and offers guidance and training for young activists.

Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF)
703-522-2214
www.feminist.org
Dedicated to women's and girls' equality, this organization's Web site has tons of news and resources on issues that affect women's rights and how to get involved.

Equal Rights Advocates
800-839-4ERA (English and Spanish)
www.equalrights.org
Since 1974, ERA's mission has been to protect and secure equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy. If you feel your rights have been violated, you can receive free, discrete legal advice.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
212-629-3322
www.glaad.org
Works to promote and ensure fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of GLBTQ people and events in all forms of media. The Web site includes articles and resources on GLBTQ rights.

International Network for Girls (INfG)
www.girlsrights.org
The INfG focuses on improving girls' rights around the world by advocating for countries to honor the Platform for Action adopted at the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference, which specifically outline girls' rights around the world.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
877-NAACP-98 (877-622-2798)
www.naacp.org
Adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor political, educational, social, and economic equality.

National Organization for Women (NOW)
202-628-8669
www.now.org
A watchdog organization for women's rights and equality. Go to the Web site to learn about issues that concern girls, and your rights and how to protect them.

National Women's Hall of Fame
315-568-8060
www.greatwomen.org
This organization's Web site is a searchable shrine to some of the greatest women in U.S. history who made contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy, and science.

National Youth Rights Association
301-738-6769
www.youthrights.org
Dedicated to defending the civil and human rights of young people in the United States. This organization aims to achieve its goals through educating people about youth rights, working with public officials to devise fitting policy solutions to problems affecting young people, and empowering young people to work on their own behalf.

Third Wave Foundation
212-675-0700
www.thirdwavefoundation.org
Fights for the equality of all—regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, economic status, and level of education. Supports the leadership of young women 15 to 30 by providing resources, public education, and networking opportunities.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—See listing under "Sexual Harassment + Bullying."

BOOKS
33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A.
edited by Tonya Bolden
Find out how revolutionary women fought for equal rights so you can, too.

The Feminine Mystique
by Betty Friedan
Reading this feminism classic you'll see how far women have come, and how far we still have to go when it comes to getting the respect and equal rights we deserve.

Listen Up (2nd Edition): Voices from the Next Feminist Generation
by Barbara Findlen
In this new, expanded edition of the acclaimed collection, writers and activists such as Rebecca Walker, Nomy Lamm, and Inga Muscio cover a wide range of topics, from feminist politics to the next wave of feminists.

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future
by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards
This call to arms describes the "seven deadly sins" the media commits against feminism, calls for urgent activism by young women, and talks about what a world with equality would look like.

The Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir
This 1949 classic explores how one "becomes" a woman. The book flap says it all: "The classic manifesto of the liberated woman, this book explores every facet of a woman's life."

To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism
edited by Rebecca Walker
With essays by men and women, this is an exploration of modern-day feminism and its impact on everyday life and the future.

What Are My Rights? 95 Questions and Answers About Teens and the Law
by Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D.
Helps teens answer 95 legal questions that pertain specifically to them. Laws related to family, school, workplace, growing up, and more are discussed.


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Abuse + Harm + Violence, Family, Help!

Help! Family

WEB SITES + ORGS
http://www.motherlessdaughtersbiz.com is a support group for girls and women who've lost their mothers based on Hope Edelman's amazing book Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss.

The Children's Rights Council
301-559-3120
www.gocrc.com
This national organization helps kids have meaningful and safe contact with both parents and extended family.
GirlMom
www.girlmom.com
Community forums, articles, and encourage-ment for teen moms.

Stepfamily Network
www.stepfamily.net
Get support and advice on dealing with stepparents.

BOOKS
Bradshaw On: The Family
by John Bradshaw
This is considered one of the most classic books for understanding family dynamics and ways that we're affected by our upbringing. The author hosted a feature series on PBS on the subject.

Bringing Up Parents: The Teenager's Handbook
by Alex J. Packer
Tips for how teens can resolve conflicts, create trust, and improve their relationships with parents.

Cool Communication: From Conflict to Cooperation for Parents and Kids
by Andrea Frank Henkart and Journey Henkart
A mother and her teen daughter write about keeping it real with great communication skills. This is a must-have book if you want to have a mutually respectful relationship with your parents. You can also visit their Web site at www.coolcommunication.com.

Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter
by Joe Kelly
If your dad isn't spending enough time with you or you just aren't relating, you'll both appreciate this book. Or, check out the Web site at: www.dadsanddaughters.org.

Daughters: The Newsletter for Parents of Girls
www.daughters.com
Tell your parents about this Web site, where they can sign up to receive a bi-monthly newsletter that features tips for how to raise strong, self-confident daughters.

How Rude! Handbook Of Family Manners For Teens
by Alex J. Packer
This book has tips to help you show your family members respect and keep the peace.

The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends
by Helen Fitzgerald
This book includes FAQs that teens have about grief, followed by a What You Can Do section. The topics covered include death from AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, Internet support, and more.


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
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Help!, Media

Help! Media

ORGS + WEB SITES
Angelfire
www.angelfire.com
Learn how to build your own Web site and host it for free. This site has everything you need to get started, including a step-by-step beginner's guide.

Bamboozled
www.bamboozled.org
Teen-produced site that aims to combat the negative stereotypes of youth by creatively, intelligently, and honestly portraying their lives.

Blogger
www.blogger.com
A blog gives you your own voice on the Web. Learn how to create your own blog so you can publish your thoughts, writing, or stories about the real lives of girls.

BeyondMedia Education
773-973-3367
www.beyondmedia.org
Equips girls with the skills to document and communicate their stories, serve as educators and role models for others, influence public policy, and generate social transformation.

Bust magazine
www.bust.com
With the tagline "women who have something to get off their chests," Bust is fiercely busts down female stereotypes and is a bold alternative to mainstream magazines. Check out the Girl Wide Web section for links to more girl-centric zines.

Center for Media Literacy
310-581-0260
www.medialit.org
Nonprofit educational organization that provides leadership, public education, professional development, and educational resources nationally. Works to help citizens, especially the young, develop critical thinking and media-production skills needed to live fully in the 21st century media culture.

Culture of Modeling
www.cultureofmodeling.com
Helps girls think about where their interest in modeling comes from and discusses the reality behind these body role models.

Femina
www.femina.com
A directory of female friendly sites on the WebÑincludes everything from girl organizations to right groups.

Global Action Project
(212) 59-9577
www.global-action.org
Media arts and leadership training for young people living around the world, who get the tools and training to create thought-provoking media on local and international issues that concern them.

The Girls, Women + Media Project
www.mediaandwomen.org
Examines how pop culture and media represent, affect, employ, and serve girls, and how you can take action to promote responsibility and respect. Plus, the site includes tons of resources to learn more about girls and the media.

Just Think
(415) 561-2900
www.justthink.org
Teaches teens to understand, evaluate, and create media messages, and how you can impact local and global communities with your own media.

Listen Up!
212-725-7000
www.pbs.org/merrow/listenup
A youth media network that connects young video producers to resources, support, and projects in the field to help create an authentic youth voice in the media.

Media Watch

Get info on challenging abusive and biased images commonly found in the media.

Media Awareness Network
www.media-awareness.ca
A watchdog group for media stereotyping. Go to the Media Issues section and check out Stereotyping and then the Girls and Women category for some really interesting articles that'll make you angry.

National Council for Research on Women
212-785.7335
www.ncrw.org
Supporting women and girls in how they're represented in media, trends and studies around the world. Check out the MisInformation Clearinghouse and their links under Resources.

Wellesley College
www.wellesley.edu/Health/BodyImage
Go to the "what you can do" section for tips on how to protest fashion companies that use dangerously thin girls in their ads. The site even has a sample complaint letter.

Wiretap
415-284-1420
www.alternet.org/wiretapmag
An independent news source by and for socially conscious youth.

Women's ENews
www.womensenews.org
Covers local and global news about issues affecting the lives of girls and women.

Youth Entertainment Studios (YES)
757-545-8766
www.yesamerica.org
Gives teens a safe place to develop their own media, including music, video, Web, and print.

Youth Radio
youthradio.org/index.shtml
Gives teens hands-on training to learn the basics of broadcasting.

BOOKS
Branded:The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
by Alissa Quart
How companies bombard teens with marketing that "saps them of individuality and imagination" to get them to not only buy products, but be products.

Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel Deadly Persusasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising
by Jean Kilbourne
Both books expose how advertising negatively shapes the way girls and women feel about themselves, what they want, and the way they treat themselves. See the author's Web site for more resources: www.jeankilbourne.com.

Ms. Magazine
www.msmagazine.com
Launched in 1971, Ms. was founded by feminist icons such as Gloria Steinem and Pat Carbine. Today the magazine is still outspoken and doesn't just write about girls' and women's struggles for equality and political power, but leads them to take action.

Teen Voices magazine
www.teenvoices.com
This magazine, written by and for teen girls, is all about building respect from the inside out. Visit the Web site to learn about how to contribute an article.

Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
by Susan J. Douglas
A look at how American media has portrayed women over the past 50 years.


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
respectrx
Friends + Sisterhood, Help!

Help! Friends + Sisterhood

ORGS + WEB SITES
Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)
404-487-5700
www.bgca.org
With locations nationwide, BGCA offers confidence-building programs focused on your future, character, leadership, health, athletics, and the arts.

Girls' Circle Association
707-794-9477
www.girlscircle.com
Facilitates Girls' Circles, which are support groups for girls age 9 to 18 years that strengthen their self-respect by maintaining a connection with peers and adult women in their communities.

Girls For A Change (GFC)
408-515-8147
www.girlsforachange.org
Matches women mentors with girls who develop social change projects to transform their communities, learn leadership skills, and strengthen their sisterhood.

Girls Inc.
800-374-4475
www.girlsinc.org
Dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, and to prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives. The Web site has a great reading list and resources. Check out the Girls' Bill of Rights.

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
800-478-7248
www.girlscouts.org
With chapters nationwide, the Girls Scouts helps girls ages 5 to 17 build self-worth, values, leadership skills, and a bunch of other important skills through meetings, activities, trips and, volunteer work.

International Order of Rainbow Girls
918-423-1328
www.iorg.org
This nondenominational organization helps girls ages 11 to 20 build leadership and speaking skills and promotes confidence, sisterhood, and charity. Girls are elected to office by their peers to run the local chapters' meetings, business, and events, which include dances, fundraisers, and extended trips.

YMCA
www.ymca.com
The largest nonprofit community service organization in America, working to meet the health and social service needs of 18.9 million men, women, and children in 10,000 communities in the United States. Ys are for people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages, and incomes. The YMCA's strength is in the people it brings together.

YWCA
800-YWCA-US1 (800-992-2871)
www.ywca.org
With more than 25 million members around the globe, the organization's mission is to "eliminate racism and empower women." The YWCA provides safe places for women and girls, builds strong girl leaders, and advocates for women's rights and civil rights in Congress.

BOOKS
How to Say No and Keep Your Friends: Peer Pressure Reversal for Teens and Preteens
by Sharon Scott
Keep that respect flowing by learning to set boundaries with your friends.

Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy
by Rachel Simmons
Poems, songs, confessions, and essays from girls about in-fighting among girls and how to stop it.

Teen Girlfriends: Celebrating the Good Times, Getting Through the Hard Times
by Julia DeVillers
A look at why our friendships are so important and how to keep them healthy and strong.


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
respectrx
Help!, School

Help! School + Learning

ORGS + WEB SITES
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
800-326-AAUW (800-326-2289)
www.aauw.org
Promotes equity, lifelong education, and positive societal change for all women and girls.

Girlstart
www.girlstart.org
This non-profit organization created to empower girls to excel in math, science, and technology.

Ms. Foundation for Women
212-742-2300
www.ms.foundation.org
Funds projects that nurture girls' leadership skills, including Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
212-545-7510
www.ncld.org
Information on learning disabilities and what help is available.

The Safe Schools Coalition
1-866-HF-ZONE-1 (Crisis Phone)
206-632-0622 (business phone)
www.safeschoolscoalition.org
A public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. Offers resources as a starting point for educators, parents/guardians, and youth. The Crisis Phone is available 24/7.

Transitions Abroad
802-442-4827
www.transitionsabroad.com
Learn all about studying- or volunteering- abroad programs for teens.

BOOKS
Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare
by Tina Schwager and Michele Schuerger
Meet 25 girls who are brave, determined and passionate. They share their stories of success, from breaking records in sports to traveling the world.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
by Grace Llewellyn
For the motivated girl who doesn't like learning in the school environment, this inspiring classic has everything you need to know to "unschool" yourself and take charge of your education, including tips on how to talk to your parents about changing your education and Web resources that support your self-schooling adventure.

The Teenagers Guide to School Outside the Box
by Rebecca Greene
How to explore non-traditional education experiences from internships to volunteering to studying abroad.

Where Do I Go from Here?
by Esther Drill, Rebecca Odes, and Heather McDonald
From the creators of Gurl.com, this book discusses the many different types of post-high school experiences—from college, to volunteering, to taking a year off—to help you figure out where you might be happiest and alternative ways to learn.

Look It Up: Web Search Terms
"alternative education" + teen
"study abroad" + teen
"volunteer abroad" + teen
"independent study" + teen


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
respectrx
Help!, Self-Defense

Help! Self-Defense

ORGS + WEB SITES
Dr. Ruthless
www.dr-ruthless.com
Get a look at impact self-defense and find inspiration for taking a course. Also has a helpful collection of informative articles and survival tips.

Impact Bay Area (formerly BAMM)
510-208-0474
www.impactbayarea.org
A great overview of impact-style self-defense and links to impact self-defense offerings in other states and countries.

Impact Self-Defense
800-345-5425
www.prepareinc.com
Find a program near you.

YWCA
800-YWCA-US1 (800-992-2871)
www.ymca.org
With more than 25 million members around the globe, the organization's mission is to "eliminate racism and empower women." The YWCA provides safe places for women and girls, builds strong girl leaders, and advocates for women's rights and civil rights in Congress. Many YWCAs offer self-defense courses. Check listings in your area.

BOOKS
Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls
by Ellen B. Snortland
A great introduction to the mindset of self-defense. Teaches assertiveness and self-defense skills.

Girl Power: Self-Defense for Teens
by Burt Konzak, Melina Konzak, and Sonya Konzak
Read about situations that many teens encounter in their daily lives and learn preventive measures, avoidance techniques, and self-defense skills.

Her Wits About Her: Self-Defense Success Stories by Women
by Denise Caignon and Gail Groves, Eds.
Inspirational stories about women who defeated their assailants and how they did it.


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
respectrx
Help!, Self-Respect + Self-Esteem

Help! Self-Respect

Be True to Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls
by Amanda Ford
In 365 one-page essays written by teen Amanda Ford, you'll get advice and insight on dating, drinking, self-worth, fights with friends, dealing with parents, and more.

Blue Jean: What Young Women Are Thinking, Saying, and Doing
by Sherry S. Handel
A grab bag of essays written by teen girls and young women on everything from volunteering and activism, to why girls shy away from the feminism movement, to attention deficit disorder, to creating your own zine or movie. Check out the Web site, too: www.bluejeanonline.com.

Don't Give It Away! A Workbook of Self-Awareness and Self-Affirmations for Young Women
by Iyanla Vanzant
Iyanla was a teen mom and high school dropout, and she went through a lot of family traumas and abuse as a child. But today she's helping young women find and keep their power. In this workbook, you can express your thoughts and feelings about the things that matter to you, and learn to find the love you want by loving yourself first.

Life Lists for Teens: Tips, Steps, Hints, and How-Tos for Growing Up, Getting Along, Learning, and Having Fun
by Pamela Espeland
Includes more than 200 lists to help you organize your thinking, energy, and time so you can build your confidence, get to know yourself, and take charge of your life.

Making the Most of Today: Daily Readings for Young People on Self-Awareness, Creativity, and Self-Esteem
by Pamela Espeland and Rosemary Wallner
Short daily readings that guide you through positive thinking and practical life skills to help you think about your world, choices, and how to boost your self-respect.

Meeting at the Crossroads
by Carol Gilligan and Lyn Mikel Brown
During the course of five years, the authors interviewed 100 girls to find out what a girl "gives up" on the path to womanhood.

Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self
by Sara Shandler
An "answer" to the book Reviving Ophelia, this collection of writings from girls 12 to 18 explores the challenges that girls are facing today, including body image, family, friends, and sexuality.

Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good?
by Miriam Adderholdt, Ph.D., and Jan Goldberg
How to figure out if you're a perfectionist, find a better balance so you can accept yourself (and body), and deal with your parents if they are pushing you to be perfect.

Real Girl Real World: Tools for Finding Your True Self
by Heather M. Gray and Samantha Phillips
Learn how to make choices you're comfortable with and explore a wide range of topics, including body image, nutrition, safe sex, and more.

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher
A truthful look at the "girl-poisoning" culture that turns independent-spirited young girls into struggling teens who have low self-worth and self-respect.

Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem
by Gloria Steinem
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem writes about self-worth, the importance of unlearning unhealthy beliefs, knowing the difference between romance and love, and so much more. It's written for women, but you can handle her straightforward, mature tone, right?

Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
by Peggy Orenstein
Inspired by a study from the AAUW Women that shows girls' self-esteem plummeting as they reach adolescence, this book goes inside two different schools in northern California where girls struggle for equal educations, assertiveness, and confidence.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide
by Sean Covey
This step-by-step guide, which has received rave reviews, helps teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and more.

What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It!
by Beverly K. Bachel
A step-by-step guide to goal-setting and planning written just for teens.

Write Where You Are: How to Use Writing to Make Sense of Your Life
by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D.
Learn how to find insight and strength through writing. Perfect for the journaling exercises in this book!


llustration by Catherine LePage © Free Spirit Publishing Inc. 2005

 
respectrx
Help!, Relationships, Sex

Help! Sex + Relationships

ORGS + WEB SITES
American Social Health Association (ASHA)
www.ashastd.org
Provides clear instructions for how to use both female and male condoms, and facts about STDs. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Out Proud
www.outproud.org
The Web site for the National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth has everything you need to explore, gain confidence in, and build respect for your sexual identity. Includes a comprehensive, searchable reading list.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
800-230-7526
www.plannedparenthood.org
Nationwide, PPFA provides comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings that preserve and protect the privacy and rights of girls. You can call the 800 number to ask questions or schedule an appointment with a clinic near you. Their Web site offers reliable information about sex, pregnancy, and more.

Scarleteen
www.scarleteen.com
Offers big-sister advice on relationships, sexuality, sexual intimacy, building trust, communicating, and strategies for appreciating your body.

Sex, Etc.
www.sxetc.org
The name pretty much says it all. Written by teens for teens (and sponsored by Rutgers University) this site provides practical sex info and covers many other topics, including relationships, emotional health, and abuse. Check out "The Roadmap: A Teen Guide to Changing Your School's Sex Ed."

Sexuality Information & Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
212-819-9770
www.siecus.org
A diverse clearinghouse for information about sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights programs.

Teen Wire
www.teenwire.com
Offers great advice on family matters, friendships, relationships, and sexual choices and health. Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

When Love Hurts
www.dvirc.org.au/whenlove/index.htm
A teen girl's online guide to creating respectful romantic relationships. Includes true stories, abuse and respect checklists, and advice on how to break up.

BOOKS
Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships
by Ruth Bell
Written by the authors of the classic book that your mom probably read, Our Bodies, Ourselves, this book thoroughly covers relationships, sex, and sexuality—the emotional and physical issues and risks.

The Teen Survival Guide To Dating & Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along
by Annie Fox
How to know if you're ready to date and how to deal with all the related dating dilemmas.

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens
by Kelly Huegel
Advice, true stories, and resources for exploring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships, dating, and more.

The Go Ask Alice Book of Answers: A Guide to Good Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Health
by Columbia University's Health Education Program
Based on the popular Web site by the same name, get answers to questions about your body, sex, and emotional well-being.

The Real Truth About Teens and Sex
by Sabrina Weill
A top editor at major teen magazines for more than a decade, Sabrina has earned the trust of millions of teens across the country. Through thousands of letters, e-mails, and interviews, and now in an exclusive nationwide survey, teens have confided in her, voicing their questions, fears, and concerns-and providing front-line reports on what really goes on at parties, at school, before parents get home from work, online, and elsewhere.

Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation
by Leora Tanenbaum
Get behind the real meaning of how girls and others are using the word "slut"—and what to do about it.

Look It Up: Web Search Terms
"teen relationships" + advice
"safe sex"
sex + education + teens + .org
teen + sexuality + .org