General safety principles:
- You are in charge of your body. No one has the right to touch you or talk about your body in a way that is wrong or makes you feel uncomfortable.
- There are three kinds of touches:
- Safe touches. These are touches that keep you safe and are good for you, and that make you feel cared for and important. Safe touches can include hugging, pats on the back, and an arm around the shoulder. Safe touches can also include touches that might hurt, such as removing a splinter. When you remove a splinter, you are doing it to keep stay healthy, which makes it a safe touch.
- Unsafe touches. These are touches that hurt your body or feelings (for example, hitting, pushing, pinching, and kicking). These kinds of touches are not okay.
- Unwanted touches. These are touches that might be safe, but that you don’t want from that person or right now. It is okay to say no to an unwanted touch, even if it is someone you know.
- Don’t keep secrets about something that bothers you or scares you. Even if someone else wants you to keep it a secret, it is okay to tell a safe adult.
- It is never too late to get help!
General safety tips:
- Be aware. Use all of your senses to pay attention to what is going on around you.
- Trust your intuition. Intuition is a signal that you feel in your body that warns you of danger. This may be a sick feeling in your stomach, your hair standing on end, or thoughts that just won’t go away. If a situation or person is making you feel that way get away and get help.
- Act calm, aware, and confident, no matter how you feel inside. Stand tall, keep your head up, and look people in the eye. Kids who seem calm, aware, and confident are less likely to be picked on.
- Get out of reach. If someone is bothering you or making you uncomfortable, use clear words that mean “No,” get away from them as fast as you can, and find a safe adult that you can tell.
- Keep telling safe adults until you get the help you need. You may have to interrupt them. You may have to repeat yourself. You may have to talk to more than one adult before you get the help you need. Remember to act calm, aware, and confident when asking for help.
Safety tips when you’re on your own in public:
- A stranger is just someone you don’t know very well, even though you may recognize them, and can
look like anybody. Most people are good; that means most strangers are good too.
- Check with an adult who is in charge before you let a stranger get close to you, talk to you, or give you anything. If you can’t check, the answer is NO!
- Check with an adult in charge before you go anywhere with anyone (a stranger or someone you know). Tell the adult in charge where you are going, who you will be with, and what you will be doing.
- Use the “buddy system” whenever possible. Always take a friend with you when you are going places or playing outside.
- If you are on your own, it is safer to stay where there are other people nearby to get help if you need it.
- Keep a safe distance (about three arm lengths) away from all strangers and strange cars, even if the stranger seems nice.
- Do not give personal information (like your name, address, phone number) to a stranger or someone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Adults can get help from other adults. You do not have to help an adult do anything. If you want to help, be sure to check with a safe adult first.
- If anyone tries to move you or hurt you, make sure you scream, kick, fight, and yell, “You’re not my dad/mom!”
- It is okay to get help from a stranger if an emergency is happening and there is nobody that you know close enough to help.
- Have a plan for how you will get help if you need it no matter where you go.
- Know your full name, your parents’ names, and your address and phone numbers.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency. You can use a payphone (without any money) or any cellphone to dial 911.
Safety tips when you’re at home alone:
- Don’t go into or stay in your house if you think someone there or something is happening that isn’t safe. Have a safe place you can go instead (e.g., neighbor’s house, library).
- Keep all doors and windows locked when you are home alone. Know how to contact your parents, neighbors or other safe adults when you are home alone.
- Never say you are at home alone if a stranger calls. Let the answering machine take the call or say “Mom/Dad can’t come to the phone now, can I take a message?”
- If someone calls and does something to make you uncomfortable, like make strange noises, not say anything, or say scary things, hang up the phone.
- If someone comes to the door, make sure you know who it is before answering. Never say you are home alone. Do not open the door if you are home alone, unless it is someone your parents told you to expect. If you are not expecting them, talk through the door and say, “My mom/dad is busy right now, I’ll tell them you stopped by.”
- Do not leave with someone unless you have permission from a safe adult.
Safety tips for sexual abuse:
- Sexual abuse is when someone older than you touches the private parts of your body (the parts covered by a bathing suit) or has you touch the private parts of their body or someone else’s body. It can also be when someone older tries to get you to take off your clothes, touches or kisses you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, or talks about or shows you sexual things that make you feel uncomfortable.
-There are a few things you should know that can help if this ever happens to you:
- Your body belongs to you.
- No one has the right to touch you, if you don't want them to. That includes teachers, grandparents, uncles and aunts, mom, dad -- everyone!
- Never try to take pictures of you without your clothes.
- Never show you photos or videos of people without their clothes on
- There are places on your body that are private -- like places your swimming suit covers -- that an adult should not try to touch, unless it's the doctor and your parent or guardian is in the room with you.
- Trust your feelings. If something feels funny or wrong to you, YOU CAN SAY NO. It is good to say no to an adult who tries to do something that is wrong.
- Tell someone you trust what happened, even if the person said it was a secret or that they would hurt you or someone else if you told.
- If someone does something to you that is wrong, they may tell you it is a special secret or make you promise not to tell. TELL! It is absolutely okay to break
- This kind of promise -- the person who made you promise knows that they are doing something very wrong.
- Keep telling until someone listens. Some adults do not know what to do when a young person tells them about sexual abuse. An adult may tell you not to talk about it or to forget it. They may even accuse you of making up stories. Don't give up. Find someone to tell who will help.
- Remember, adults and older kids should:
- Never ask you to keep a secret about touching.
- Never touch you anywhere that is private, like where your bathing suit covers you.
- Never ask you to touch them anywhere private.
- Never touch their private parts in front of you.
- Never reach under your clothes or try to get you to take off your clothes.
- Never ask you to take off their clothes.
- Never ask you to keep a secret about something wrong.
- Never ask you to touch yourself or other kids anywhere private.
Copyright © 1998 by the National Center for Victims of Crime. This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.
Safety tips for exposure to violence at home:
- When someone is being violent in your home do not get in the middle of the fight, even if you are trying to help.
- Find a safe place and call a trusted adult or 911 for help.
- If you need to leave the house to feel safe, think of a safe place that you could go like a neighbor’s home, a library, or a store.
- The person who is being violent may try to make you feel responsible for the violence. You are not to blame for their actions. You do not have to keep it a secret.
- Find a trusted adult that you can tell you can keep you safe and help put a stop to the violence at home.
- In order to get help, you may need to tell someone outside of your family like a teacher, counselor, doctor, police officer.
- Keep telling different people until you get the help you need.
Above information was obtained through the following sources: