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Parents need to understand what the signs are to ensure their daughters are safe. All young girls can be targets for predators. Girls who are being bullied at school, struggling with changes on the home front or otherwise dealing with self-esteem issues are especially vulnerable.
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You can know a statistic -- even be horrified by it -- but when those statistics become stories, and those stories are coming from women you've known, worked with, are related to or voted for and then the stories just keep coming -- the frame on the issue shifts.
Girls living in poverty across the developing world are also much more likely to be subjected to violence than their brothers. Many believe girls have no business being in school. Many are forced against their will into marriage and intercourse in their teens. Two out of three victims of child trafficking around the world are girls.
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As the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre approaches, it is interesting to reflect upon the evolution of gun control and the government's approach to questions of gun violence and misuse. However, ensuring a safer environment for women -- and for society in general -- requires more than official recognition of sexism or any other so-called justification as an invalid reason for violence.
When Marc Lépine went to the École Polytechnique 23 years ago today, he entered the school with the intention of killing feminists. Feminists, he said in his suicide note, had ruined his life. I was seven years old when École Polytechnique Massacre happened. I want to think that the world has changed since then, but really, has it? Women are still the butt of the joke. Women are still lacking in positions of power. Women are still being told that they need to compete against each other. There is still a persistent bias against women in the worlds of math and science. If there's anything that can be learned from the latest American election, it's that there are still men who hate women. A lot of men. Powerful men.