Establish and maintain healthy relationships.
I was talking to this guy for a while, but realized he was completely into someone else. Eventually, I decided that I cannot waste my time with someone who does not feel the same about me. Girls PACT has taught me about knowing your self-worth and ending things when they are doing more harm than good. Our motto is “Don't waste the Pretty” and I will not settle for less than I deserve.
~ Anthonia, age 16
Engage in behaviors that reduce the risk of unintended / unplanned pregnancy.
I was dating this guy for a few weeks and we decided to have sex. I was emotionally and physically prepared - I had been on birth control for several months and I knew to use a condom because we were not exclusive. The next day, I received a text from him. He told me that the condom had ripped and freaked out about me being pregnant. He insisted I needed to take a pregnancy test (I was more worried about an STD!). I was confident that I wasn't pregnant, though because Girls PACT teaches us to take care of our sexual health.
~ Monica, age 19
Engage in behaviors that reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI).
I was talking to one of my good guy friends and he told me about a girl he was talking to. He said that they were considering having sex. I immediately thought about consent, contraceptives and STIs. So, I asked if he had a conversation with her to see if she was as into the idea as he was. Then, I asked what he was planning on using for protection from pregnancy and disease. He said they were both ready for sex, but did not discuss condoms or birth control. Girls PACT made me realize that if you are not taking your safety into consideration when making this decision, then, you may not be ready to have sex with your partner. I gave him some Girls PACT condoms and encouraged him to use Planned Parenthood services to better prepare themselves so there are no accidents.
~ Itzel, age 17
Communicate and establish personal boundaries with partners.
I was in a relationship that wasn't the typical “lovey-dovey” type. I mean, at first, and at certain times it was, but, in general he did not treat me with respect. Like, he would make fun of me when I would tell him something about my day. And, he would just stop talking to me, out the blue, and talk to other girls. I didn't have enough courage to say anything to him about his behavior. I knew that this was not what I was looking for in a partner, but I didn't know what to do about. Girls PACT has helped me learn to communicate my boundaries.
~ Karen, age 18
Identify unhealthy relationships / behaviors and seek support.
When I was 17, I dated a 22 year old. I was completely infatuated and thought our relationship was meant to be. He was emotionally abusive to me, but I was too blinded by “love” to see the red flags. As I continued my involvement with Girls PACT, I started to notice the control he had over me. It was a completely unhealthy relationship and I am glad I had Girls PACT to help me through it. I'll never make that mistake again!
~ Julisa, age 19
Communicate “No Means No” with conviction.
We get angry if people take our stuff - french fries, phones, hoodies, jewelry - without permission. We are trained from a young age to ask for permission to use a toy or borrow a pen. Why aren't we trained to ask permission to give someone a hug, hold someone's hand, or give someone a kiss? Consent isn't just about sex. Girls PACT has taught me that consent can be used in all areas of my life. I have the choice to say “yes” or “no”, whether someone asks me to borrow money or take my pants off...and, it doesn't matter who is asking - friend or partner!
~ Maria, age 17
Treat others with courtesy and respect without regard to their sexuality.
I was in a relationship with a girl for three years. She was dishonest and emotionally cheated on me. Girls PACT helped me recognize that these behaviors were unhealthy and definitely not what I stand for in a partnership. When I was ready to break up and walk away, I was coached to say “thank you for the experience” to my girlfriend, instead of “I'm sorry things didn't work out”. Girls PACT reminds us to demand respect and never settle for less than you deserve. Self-worth, communication, boundaries, consent and sex are part of ALL relationships, including LGBTQ. I appreciate that Girls PACT is always courteous and listens without regard to anyone's sexuality or circumstances.
~ Alexys, age 17
Educate others to reduce sexual risk behaviors.
I am not in a relationship and I am not sexually active, but I am educated on dating, sex and everything in between. Because of Girls PACT, I can make informed decisions about my sexual health and educate others.
~ Melissa, age 17
Use appropriate health services to promote sexual health.
When I was in high school, I would hear guys getting props for sleeping around. But, when a girl was doing the sleeping around, she was a slut, whore and tramp. The crazy thing, too, was when a girl chose not to have sex, she was a prude or playing hard to get. The double standards and rules were so confusing! I found myself judging the sexual choices and activities of others. Girls PACT taught me to respect the personal values and choices of others, rather than shame them. Now, my philosophy is, do you. If you are protecting yourself with condoms, birth control, regular testing and constant communication with your partners, then I am in no position to judge.
~ Jennifer C., age 18