Study shows four out of five girls in juvenile detention have been abused

The If Project: Incarcerated Voices Helping the Next Generation

A recent report shows that up to 80 percent of girls in juvenile detention have been victims or sexual and physical abuse.

The report -- which includes prestigious authors from Georgetown Law's Center on Poverty and Inequality, the Human Rights Project for Girls and Ms. Foundation for Women -- delves into the correlation between abuse and being behind bars.

The report argues that many of the girls in juvenile detention end up behind bars as a direct result of their abuse, particularly because of the laws in many states that allow police to arrest minors for prostitution.

Studies specifically show that many of the girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested and punished instead of being treated as sexual abuse victims.

A study from 2014 found that sexual abuse history is the number one predictor of whether or not a girl will end up back behind bars.

"It appears to have a greater impact on girls' reentry into the system than other risk factors like behavioral problems or prior justice involvement," the report said.

Clearly it's time to have a larger conversation on this issue.

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