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Teach girls to promote their own safety

Bill Cosby, center, leaves the the Montgomery County

Bill Cosby, center, leaves the the Montgomery County Courthouse after being convicted. Credit: AP / Matt Slocum

Yes, Bill Cosby is guilty; justice finally prevails [“Cosby convicted of molestation,” News, April 27]. Well, for one accuser, anyway.

So, where do we go from here? With one abuser facing prison, this is a very tiny drop in an enormous bucket.

As the #MeToo movement confirmed, women are not safe. On the street, the campus and in the workplace, abuses of women and girls are epidemic. According to a 2016 Justice Department study, 1 in 5 women on college campuses was the victim of a rape or attempted rape. So, though it is important to know the risk and reality, we must be proactive.

What do we offer those about to fly from parental protection toward independence besides a hashtag cyber-bomb, a wink and a nod? Especially those most at risk: the adolescent girl and young adult woman?

We must teach girls and young women how to promote their safety. Girls are not helpless victims. They can learn how to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim and strategies to deal with incidents.

As more women come off the sidelines, speak out, run for office and take responsibility for their safety, we must teach new generations to do the same.

Kathy Greene Lahey,

Port Jefferson

Editor’s note: The writer is author of a teen girl safety book, “Taking Flight for Girls Going Places.”