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Violent confrontations amongst girls on social media

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    Here's an alarming trend--American girls are maturing at younger ages than ever before. How young? The answer is going to shock you.

It's a disturbing trend that's destroying lives, and being exploited on social media sites like YouTube: Girls nationwide are engaged in violent confrontations with total disregard for the repercussions.

Dr. Angela Aiello is a psychotherapist who counsels troubled girls.

"There are a number of factors that can compel a girl to engage in such violent acts. It could be that she has a very impoverished home life and she feels empowered by the ability of knowing she can take down another girl and feel some sense of value for herself," she says.

In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, 12-year-old Alicia Ferrer was beaten by four girls she thought were her friends. A bystander recorded the 20-minute assault, which was posted to YouTube -- and later aired on the news.

Alicia's mother, Holly Gingerella, said, "I think the attack was a feeding frenzy. They brought her by ambulance to the hospital. It looked like she had a broken nose. She had bite marks. She had a cut down her back. It was horrible."

"I tried to cover myself the best I could. So, I didn't really know who was hitting me or what was going on. I honestly didn't think they were ever going to let me go," Alicia recalled.

Fortunately, Alicia survived. But the attack dramatically changed her and her family's lives.

"She has had to change schools," said Gingerella. "We've completely moved away. I had to switch jobs."

Once a victim but now an activist, Alicia and her mom Holly are working to inspire and empower others to stop the violence.

"We cannot be like this," said Gingerella. "We have to be better. We have to learn something from this and possibly teach something from this."

If a girl you know has violent tendencies, Dr. Aiello says she most likely suffers from low self-esteem, coupled with anger, feelings of envy and unrelieved frustration.

"Outside interventions may be necessary in order to curtail that behavior so your child has a fighting chance to grow up into a healthy, clear-thinking, calm and sane woman," says Aiello.

Aiello says it's critical to put a stop to any girl's violent behavior because it can get worse and land her not only on YouTube, but in prison … or even dead.

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