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“Ain’t No Justice… It’s Just Us”: Girls Organizing against Sexual and Carceral Violence

This chapter seeks to interrogate normative notions of at-risk girlhood and violence, offering a roadmap for a broader terminology and reconceptualization of gender in girlhood studies. I argue that studying the knowledge produced by girl-driven activist organizations enables activist-scholars to rethink what constitutes girlhood from a perspective critical of how criminalized, homeless and street-involved, and incarcerated girls and gender non-conforming youth have been disciplined, managed, corrected, and punished as prisoners, patients, mothers, and victims of multiple, interconnected forms of violence through imprisonment, medicalization, and secure care. By showcasing case studies of anti-violence and abolitionist activism that contest sexual violence, colonial state control, and carceral state violence undertaken by girls whose identities stretch far beyond normative gender and racial binaries, I aim to frame a transnational discussion of girls’ community activism within and against exclusionary notions of what constitutes girlhood and girls’ social justice activism. From Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place: Contemporary paradigms for research.