Room One has provided Girls Groups in our local Methow Valley school for six years. In August, we took a familiar program into new territory by establishing a weekly Girls Group in the Okanogan Juvenile Detention Hall.
Studies show that nearly all girls in detention have histories of trauma. We know that girls are disproportionately affected by violence, abuse, and poverty, and as a community we need to invest in safe spaces for girls to connect. We also know that by addressing the whole girl, and providing a safe, confidential space for girls to share their struggles, build community, and strengthen the skills they need to be resilient, these same girls can become empowered custodians of their own lives.
Each week, Room One facilitators meet the girls in the rec room of Detention Hall. The girls clearly love this hour spent out of their cells, talking through past experiences, learning new ways to communicate, building healthy connections, and journaling about their lives. Each week, we learn too. We learn about the meaning of resilience, the power of relationships, and the work we still have to do to ensure all people have an opportunity to thrive, down to the last girl.