Bullying – whether you witnessed it in the playground, at work, were on the end of it, or provoking it – we have all seen it at some point during our life.
The teenage years can be the most sensitive and difficult period of a girl’s life, and unfortunately bullying during this time frame isn’t uncommon.
Krystal was a victim of bullying during her teenage years, which ultimately led her to skipping school and experiencing peer pressure.
‘During my early teenage years I was bullied in and out of school, due to my weight. I’ve also experienced homelessness. My education was affected by bullying and the influence of peer pressure,’ explains Krystal.
Lucky enough for Krystal, she was nominated for the SISTER2Sister program, where she was given the chance to turn her life around, with the guidance of Big Sister, Gina.
‘Gina has helped me learn to enjoy life with some laughs. I now try new things and even get off my butt to experience the world and what’s out there. Gina has also helped me to never give up on my dreams and my goals for my future.’
Gina explains how being a teenage girl should be the best phase of a woman’s life, however not everyone is given this privilege.
‘We need to recognise and understand teenage girls and the hardships and challenges they can face in our communities especially those who have been vulnerable or placed at risk of violence, abuse or neglect in their earlier years.
It really is an awesome stage of being of being a woman and to be able to share it with someone else as they go through it is just amazing.’
From Monday the 17th – 21st November, Step Up for SISTERHOOD Week will take place.
A whole week dedicated to raising money for those in need, just like Krystal, by encouraging men and women across the country to exchange their casual shoes for their favourite statement ‘step-up’ shoes.
On the other side of the spectrum is Gina – the Big Sister. There for Krystal, and there to help many other young girls.
Along with having the experience of being a Manager for the Critical Incident and Counseling Services for the NSW State Emergency Service.
‘I have been humbled by the opportunity to be a part of a teenage girl’s life and the privilege it is to share probably some of her darkest secrets that she may not have otherwise been able to share. When you get to see life through someone else’s experiences another light is turned on that you can never turn off again,’ says Gina.
Workplaces are invited to help other vulnerable teenage girls like Krystal by registering online here.
Participants are encouraged to post photos on social media using the hastag #stepup to show how they are “stepping up” to stamp out abuse in the community.