At Ocean Road Primary School we provide a program in Protective Behaviours across the school. The program, provided by Protective Behaviours WA, teaches children a range of skills and strategies to help prevent and reduce child abuse and violence.
Children who have been taught Protective Behaviours are more able to recognise threats to their safety and are more likely to suggest using personal safety strategies than comparison children (Johnson, 1985).
In order to work towards preventing children becoming victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, it is important to educate children on their rights to personal safety and the way we do this is by teaching children the following:
Theme One “We all have the right to feel safe at all times” and feelings.
- Early Warning Signs (the physical sensations we experience in our body when feeling unsafe or excited).
- Safety continuum (safe/fun to feel scared/risking on purpose/unsafe) and Problem Solving (How could someone feel safe even if…?).
Theme Two “We can talk with someone about anything, no matter what it is” and safe secrets/ unsafe secrets.
- Networks (Identifying adults that we can talk with and ask for help if we feel unsafe/scared/ worried).
- Persistence expectation (Persisting in asking for help until you feel safe again).
- Body Awareness and Ownership and Private and Public parts of the body (including teaching and using the correct anatomical names for private parts of the body) Private and Public clothing/Private and Public places/Private and Public Behaviours/ Private and Public Information.
- Personal space (social distance) and safe and unsafe touch.
- Assertiveness (body language/ tone of voice/ NO GO TELL).
It is important that we empower children so as they are able to apply these preventative strategies as everyday life skills. The Protective Behaviours Program teaches children all of these preventative strategies in a non-threatening and non-sexual way.
See below video for more information on the subject.Protective Behaviours’ Western Australian Executive Officer Andrea Musulin provides valuable tips and information about what you can do to keep children safe and how to empower them to speak up and protect themselves.