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Rebecca Burney

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Rebecca Burney

Rebecca Burney

Name of Host Organization: Rights4Girls
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Women's Rights
Sponsors: PepsiCo, Inc.

The Project

Develop replicable strategies to dismantle the Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline through policy advocacy, direct representation and engagement of girls in DC trapped in a cycle of victimization.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
When girls are released into the community with their trauma untreated, their coping behaviors resume, they are arrested again, experience further traumatization and disconnection from their community, have more serious system involvement, and the cycle of victimization continues. This is the Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline (“Pipeline”).
The Right Person For This Project

Rebecca is the right person for the project because:
• She has a nuanced understanding of the needs of girls impacted by sexual abuse, poverty, and justice involvement based on her experiences as a teacher, sexual assault counselor, and direct legal services provider.
• She has mentored and provided legal advocacy for delinquent youth and girls in the foster care system.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Rebecca will:
• Build partnerships with local stakeholders and organizations serving sexually abused girls and convene a local working group.
• Compile a list of best practices for working with girls involved in the juvenile justice system who are impacted by sexual abuse.
• Engage with Pipeline-involved girls, including through workshops, advocacy, collaboration with other attorneys, and direct representation