July 1, 2022

We are all on a journey throughout life. Different vehicles, each taking their own unique paths and at times having to make detours along the way but all having the same destination… that is to find purpose!

I remember when I was a girl. I remember being full of light, hope, and joy. There could be so many things happening in my surroundings, but I did not care… in fact I did not even notice a lot of it.

I remember loving to put on pretty dresses and wearing beads in my hair. I remember being happy to meet new people and make new friends. I remember when adults were people I trusted easily because I was confident that they would not hurt me. I remember being happy… just pure unadulterated happiness.

Then suddenly, my happiness was gone.

I did not want to wear pretty dresses anymore because compared to the other girls I knew; my clothes were not… pretty anymore.

I did not want to make new friends because people were not… nice anymore.

I began to feel uneasy in the presence of adults, especially men, because a man abused my trust, and I did not feel… safe anymore.

In a moment, at the tender age of 11, my girlhood was over… no, taken!
I was lost and confused. Like I am no longer a girl but not yet a woman.

I began to stumble through this new ‘hood’ grasping for something to hold on to. I just wanted something to define the season I was in but the only thing I found was brokenness.

Welcome to “Broken-hood”!

Yes, you heard me “Broken-hood”. You know, that awkward stage in a girl’s life where she must balance emotional trauma with societies expectations.

The season where she is addressed like a woman as she walks down the street, not knowing how to handle all of the “Sweet Gurls!” and the “my sexy friend? I got something fuh you(s)”, only shortly after, while trying to ignore the cat-calling, for them to swiftly change to “that is why you ugly”, all while being only 13 years old.

How does a girl process this healthily? And why are stories like these so common?

We as girls have started to bond over shared experiences that should not be happening to any of us.

At 16 she is legal but cannot vote till she is 18. Childhood? Womanhood? No! it’s a brokenhood that too many of our girls have to take up residence in.

The saddest part is that very few women manage to truly make the transition out of this brokenhood. There are so many women walking around trying to come into their own as women but still trying to heal and recover from the traumas they experienced during their girlhood.

It does not have to be this way. It is high time we stand in solidarity with each other.

Let us not just trauma-bound but let us come together as a community of sisters that will support each other, as we each go through our journey of healing.

Let us create a community where we as girls will speak out… no SCREAM OUT, when we see injustice against our fellow sisters.

Let us come together and build each other up, instead of tearing down one another as society would prefer us to.

Most importantly, let us go to work and engineer a safe community, where girls can be girls!


Amanda Jack

Community Engagement & Programming Officer

Amanda is responsible for helping to implement and administer effective outreach, as well as the facilitation and maintenance of programmes offered throughout our community and/or activities related to building up the organisation. This role is also an actively supportive one as it relates to general planning, management of membership, working with our collaborative partnerships, advocacy for our beneficiaries and public awareness about I Am A Girl.

About the author 

I Am A Girl NGO

The Caribbean's leading non-profit organisation in support of girls, to inspire, empower and provide opportunities for girls to lead and exist in a world where they feel safe, protected and celebrated.

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