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Fight for Our Girls: Applying an Intersectional Lens to Girls of Color Facing Status Offenses

Girls of color who commit status offenses – behaviors like running away, missing school and violating curfew – are often seen and defined as social problems requiring intervention at the individual level. However, this classification ignores the structural inequities and trauma contributing to their behaviors. This brief challenges the sole focus on the individual by examining the historical biases that exist within our child-serving systems. It also explores how the intersection of race and gender continues to negatively define outcomes for girls of color. Finally, the brief makes recommendations for policy and practice changes in public systems that are trauma-informed and promote healing and well-being.