Today, I came across an interesting survey online. Precious Voices was created by Crittenton Services of Greater Washington’s Youth Advisory Board after members read the teen novel Push by Sapphire, which inspired the recent film Precious. Members found themselves asking how many young women in the United States experience abuse, neglect, or other issues that lead to low self esteem and lack of motivation.The survey found that, among the 99 teen women surveyed
59% have felt voiceless at one time in their lives
54% have been subjected to physical force from someone in their home
40% do not trust that when they tell a teacher about an issue, that they really care and will help
37% have witnessed their parents/guardians hitting each other
31% have been touched in an unwelcomed way by someone close to them
18% have been in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend who used physical force with them
See the full survey here. The website offers links to resources for young women experiencing such problems. Reading the survey made me think about teenage boys, too. What issues do boys face at home and in the community that might cause them to struggle with self esteem? A websearch led me to a study conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services which addresses challenges faced by young men, as well as potential solutions. View that study here.
If you are a teen struggling with abuse, neglect, or plain old dysfunction at home or eslewhere, the libraries offer resources to help you establish goals and grow beyond the struggle! You can find links to a variety of websites for teens at the HDPL Teen Spot: http://www.mypubliclibrary.com/teenspot/itsyourlife.html. The websites provided here offer everything from advice, to information about abusive relationships, and even college and career info. If you don't find what you're looking for there, we have plenty of nonfiction books in the library to help with issues, and we also offer plenty of fiction that might help brighten your day! Check out the catalog here. You could even think about attending a teen event at your nearest library. One of the best ways to develop self esteem and feel better about life is to find new hobbies and meet people! We offer weekly teen events for all kinds of interests. What's the bottom line? The Teen Services Librarians at Henderson Libraries are here to help you find the information you need to improve your life. We'd love to see you in the library.