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Amy,

I am a male youth mentor who works with youth between the ages of 11-18. A majority of the young women are from single mother families, and many have never met their fathers or have abusive relationships with them. I have become a father figure to many of them, and have established a relationship based on trust and love.

I often find myself in positions that I am not qualified to assist in, and am requesting your help. I was hoping you could forward me to real accounts of young girls who have been raped, young women who have gotten pregnant and young women who have had abortions. I
would like to provide my youth with some of these accounts, and ultimately create a theater piece telling these stories.

Your assistance is appreciated,

Mentor G

 

   

Dear Mentor G,

I think that the work you are doing is great. I was actually raised by a single mother and I don't know my father, so I resonated with what you were dealing with. I also had an abortion at 19 and was date raped at 14 -- so I guess I had much more to relate with, too. I think your idea of turning stories into a theatre piece is great -- especially because people seem to relate to or at least respond to politics more when it comes in the form of theater than in a lecture, because you are allowed to listen and observe rather than just be expected to absorb by being lectured to. There are a few articles on this topic that I know about -- most are in a few antholgies:

Listen Up edited by Barbara Findlen

To Be Real edited by Rebecca Walker

Body Outlaws edited by Ophira Edut

Am I The Last Virgin?
edited by Tara Roberts

Body & Soul edited by Linda Villarosa and Allison Anders.

Sadly these stories are hard to come by because people are still made to be ashamed of these experiences -- this creates a climate where people stay silent and blame themselves rather than realize that "its" the problem, not them. Perhaps you can collect real stories from your mentees.

At Ask Amy there are tons of stories -- and these are all real people
who have written to me. I hope that helps and I hope that you are able to have the impact you want to.

Good luck,

—Amy

 

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