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Life as a girl in the inner city

The following descriptions were given to me by a female youth leader who works with some of the teenage girls. These descriptions are also typical of many of the guys. (For obvious reasons, the names have been omitted from this account.)

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Father died of a drug abuse-related illness. Mother sleeps with a different guy every few months. Mother is often drunk and gives very little guidance. Even though "A" is bright, she is failing half of her subjects in middle school.

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A very bright young lady, but losing interest in school. Father shows love for "B" and her younger sister and brother, but has a drug and alcohol problem. Mother is in and out of prison, with a dangerous drug problem and prostitution.

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Father recently out of prison. A very angry man who spends much of his time in depression. She and her brother and sister are often left to roam the neighborhood long after they should be in bed. Mother works long hours to support the family. The house is cluttered and filthy.

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Spends many hours alone at home, since her single mom works evenings. Sweet young 12-year old with a real heart. Easily influenced by other girls.

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Lives with her mother and stepfather. Stepfather works when he feels like it. Mother and stepfather fight violently, causing "E" to leave the home at all hours of the night, often ending up at her boyfriend's house.

Dennis Hinks © 2001

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