We have developed several resources that you can use to build your own work to end violence against girls and young women.  All of these are free for downloading, and we will continue to add resources as they are developed:


Reporting on Rape and Sexual Violence: A Media ToolkitReporting on Rape and Sexual Violence: A Media Toolkit for Local and National Journalists to Better Media Coverage:  In 2011, we convened to discuss how the Taskforce could continue to raise the issue of violence against girls in the public discourse. We decided that producing a Media Toolkit to disseminate to members of the press was not only necessary for helping address the ever-deepening stigma around rape and sexual violence, but a critical and timely resource to address the pervasiveness of rape culture in society. This Toolkit provides concrete facts about the issue of violence against girls and young women; suggestions about issues to be covered regarding violence against girls, including the Taskforce’s recommendations of how to end violence, and information about key organizations.

Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence:  This 2007 report, written by Taskforce co-founder Melissa Spatz and DePaul University Professor Ann Russo through the Women & Girls Collective Action Network, looks at ways that Chicago groups — and especially youth groups — are engaging their communities in grassroots efforts to end violence.  The report features 16 innovative organizations from across the city, and describes their analysis, structure and chosen approaches for ending violence against women and girls.  The report also includes discussion questions, fundraising ideas and more that you can take back to your own community.


Something is Wrong: Exploring the Roots of Youth Violence: Project NIA, the Chicago Freedom School and Teachers for Social Justice have partnered along with other volunteers to develop a curriculum guide in order to contribute to the ongoing efforts by young people and their adult allies to analyze the root causes of youth violence and to create local solutions.  The guide was co-authored by Taskforce founder Mariame Kaba, and Melissa Spatz contributed a workshop on youth organizing as well.

Giving Name to the Nameless: This 2010 curriculum resource was developed by Taskforce co-founder Mariame Kaba with contributions by Caitlin Ostrow-Seidler.  The guide includes over 30 poems that address gender-based violence as well as tips and suggestions for individuals who are interested in facilitating poetry circles with girls and young women.


Status of Girls in Illinois report: This 2009 report, which shows how girls are faring in Illinois with respect to health, education, physical fitness, violence and more, was a catalyst for the formation of the Taskforce.  It was written by Taskforce co-founders Mariame Kaba and Melissa Spatz, together with Michelle VanNatta, who serves on our Editorial Committee.  Professor VanNatta’s section on violence and incarceration of young women in Illinois is especially relevant.

Dating Violence & Forced Sex Among Teenagers (2009 YRBSS):  This handout contains updates to the Status of Girls report, based on data from 2009 surveys of youth.  This data was released in 2010, and reveals an increase in the levels of teen dating violence facing youth in Chicago.  The findings are reflected in the data sections on this website, and this tool can be downloaded as a handout.

Research at Stroger Hospital:  In 2010, Research Associate Claudia Garcia-Rojas conducted interviews with staff at John H. Stroger Hospital, to determine protocol and needs for serving young women who are survivors of sexual assault.  The research, briefly described here, informed the Taskforce’s policy recommendations.