Sexual harassment is one of the most insidious, yet pervasive, forms of violence that affects all girls, not merely those traditionally thought to be vulnerable or at risk. Although harassment in the workplace has been the focus of considerable attention during the last decade, there is a growing recognition that girls experience varied forms of sexual harassment, and that this behavior begins at a surprisingly early age. This article examines the plight of the "girl child" and presents findings from the first phase of a national action research project currently being conducted by the Canadian Alliance of Five Research Centres on Violence. A major objective of this project is to examine how violence becomes "normalized" in the lives of girls and young women. Implications for nurses, including strategies aimed at encouraging resistance among this population, are addressed.
Assistant Professor and NHRDP/MRC Career Scientist; School of Nursing (Berman)
Director; Center for Research on Violence against Women and Children; Center for Women's Studies and Feminist Research (McKenna)
Research Assistant; Center for Research on Violence against Women and Children (Arnold)
Past Research Coordinator; Center for Research on Violence against Women and Children; University of Western Ontario; London, Ontario (Taylor)
Communications and Funding Coordinator; Sexual Assault Center London; London, Ontario (MacQuarrie)
The authors express their appreciation to Nora Shanahan and Linda Chow, Center for Research on Violence against Women and Children, for their administrative assistance throughout all stages of this research. Funded by Status of Women Canada.