The figures on the number of children who are sexually assaulted each year in Australia are staggering. Research consistently suggests that around 1 in 5 children will be sexually assaulted.
With the increase in awareness around child sexual assault, the main questions that we are asked here at Bravehearts is: “What can I do to protect my kids?”
For parents or carers keeping children safe is one of the most important things we can do. To do this, we must equip our children with the knowledge and skills they need to avoid risky situations, and to give them an understanding of their rights to protect their own body.
The basic principles we need to teach our children (remember: it's never too early to sow the seeds of personal safety) are:
1. To trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes' and ‘no' feelings
2. To say ‘no' to adults if they feel unsafe and unsure
3. That they own their own bodies
4. That nothing is so yucky that they can't tell someone about it
5. That if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust.
Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! assists in teaching your child to keep safe in a non-confronting, fun and interactive way. Developed by Bravehearts Inc, Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! is the result of a collaborative effort with input from child protection experts, academics and professionals from Australia and abroad.
Designed especially for young children, Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! currently includes a CD-Rom, an Activity Book and a live show that visits schools. (The product list is growing, with story books, games, DVDs and in-class modules for teachers in the pipeline).
Ditto the character featured in the program teaches children to recognise potentially dangerous situations, giving them tools on how to deal with these situations by speaking out and staying safe.
Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! is based on three simple, easy to remember rules:
1. We all have the right to feel safe with people.
2. It's okay to say ‘no' if you feel unsafe or unsure.
3. Nothing is so yucky that you can't tell someone about it.
The aim of Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! is to ‘abuse proof' children – at least as much as possible. Just as teaching children the road rules doesn't guarantee they won't get hurt, this CD can't guarantee absolute protection for children against attack. But as with teaching road rules, teaching personal safety rules will certainly help.
Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure! provides an invaluable tool for any person who cares about children including professionals whose work brings them in contact with children and young people.