Working together to keep our children safe, strong and free.
Sometimes parents, grandparents, and others who take care of young children are initially afraid to talk with them about abuse and assault. They worry they might say the wrong thing. They worry they may frighten their children. We think it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious. We need to talk with our children about difficult issues like abuse, but it’s important to do it right. With the help of CAP, we believe doing it right is not that hard.
In partnership with Newton schools, the Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) brings workshops to elementary school children that teach simple strategies to reduce their vulnerability to verbal, physical and sexual assault and violence. CAP also provides information to parents and teachers that gives them the language to talk to children in a way that works for children and adults alike. In so many cases, there’s something simple and effective a child can do to handle a situation on their own, or something they can do to get help. For example:
• Kidnappers often take children from a front yard, a grocery store or a busy street – places where the children are within earshot of their parents or other adults who can help. But every child can learn the Special Safety Yell. And it could save their life.
• People who molest children count on secrecy to get away with their assaults. People within the family who abuse children count on secrecy, too. Both types of abusers scare children into silence. But every child can learn that they don’t have to keep a secret which is confusing, scary or hurtful. They can learn that there are no Forever Secrets. They can learn how to tell and who to tell to get help.
A classroom workshop
Through age-appropriate, skill-oriented CAP classroom workshops, children learn and are encouraged to use practical skills to become confident in their own problem-solving abilities, strengthening their capacity to recognize and respond to uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations. CAP teaches children the importance of assertiveness, peer support and turning to trusted adults for assistance. Teaching that everyone has the right to be Safe, Strong and Free, CAP guides children step-by-step from fear to confidence by means of non-threatening language and active participation in role plays. Community education presentations are available to parents in every Newton elementary school, as well as other adult groups upon request. For more information about how you can speak to your own children about how they can be Safe, Strong and Free, please refer to the Adult Information Guide or contact Gail Sommer.