Glossary

  • Body Boundaries

    Rules we have for touches that feel safe or unsafe for our own bodies, including the private parts of our bodies that should not be touched or seen, unless we are hurt and need help.

  • Grown-Up Buddies

    Trusted adults who are old enough to drive who help a child to be safe.

  • Guiding Voice

    Everyone has a Guiding Voice inside of them. This is the voice that either reminds you of things or helps you realize that you’re feeling confused, nervous or uncomfortable – whatever those feelings may be. You should always listen and tell someone in your Trusted Triangle if you realize that you are feeling confused, nervous or uncomfortable.

  • I Mean Business Voice

    The serious, loud voice we use when we need our voice to be heard in any situation where we don’t feel safe.

  • Personal Space

    The space around your body that belongs to you. Nobody should be going into your personal space without your permission, because your body belongs to you.

  • P.L.A.N.

    Permission, Location, Activity, Names and Numbers of people you are with. Anytime you go somewhere, you make a P.L.A.N. First, get Permission from the Grown Up in charge of you. Next, tell the Location where you will be. Then, let the Grown Up in charge of you know what the Activity will be. Finally, give the names and phone numbers of the people who are with you.

  • Private Parts

    The parts of our body covered by our bathing suit and our mouth.

  • Safe Secret

    A safe secret is one that is eventually told and that makes everyone happy.

  • Unsafe Secret

    An unsafe secret is one that makes you feel confused, “icky,” or not quite right, and that you are told not to share.

  • Safe Touch

    You decide if a touch is safe or unsafe based on how it makes you feel. A safe touch is one that makes you feel loved, happy, comforted and safe. This can be a welcome hug, an encouraging pat on the back or cuddling with a parent.

  • Unsafe Touch

    An unsafe touch is a touch that makes you feel “icky,” uncomfortable or confused.

  • Safety Goggles

    Safety Goggles teach us to assess our surroundings by teaching us to focus on situations and make safe decisions.

  • Safety Stop Sign

    The Safety Stop Sign represents your ability to say “no” in a situation that makes us feel unsafe.

  • Secret Gauge

    Your Secret Gauge is always with you and helps you decide if a secret is safe or unsafe. A safe secret is one that is meant to be told and will make everyone smile when it is told. An unsafe secret is one that you are told not to tell and makes you feel icky or uncomfortable. Never keep an unsafe secret.

  • Stranger

    Someone that you don’t know well.

  • Tattling

    Tattling is a complaint about someone else’s behavior that doesn’t involve safety.

  • Reporting

    Reporting is something that involves a threat to safety.

  • Think, Feel, Act

    TFA stands for Think, Feel, Act. Think about a situation, how it makes you Feel, and what Action you should take to keep yourself safe.

  • Trusted Triangle

    A Trusted Triangle is made up of trusted adults who are old enough to drive and to whom you can tell anything. One person in your Trusted Triangle should be a person not in your family.

Letter to Parents

SF_SafetyPlan_Newsletter_K-2-1
SSF_SafetyPlan_Newsletter_K-2-2

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Grown-Up Buddies/Trusted Adults

Discuss the importance of identifying Grown-Up Buddies (adults who are responsible for a child’s protection) to go to in any unsafe or confusing situation.

  • Brainstorm with your child who could be their Grown-Up Buddies. Identify these adults based upon the adults they could talk to about situations that leave them scared, confused, uncomfortable, or icky.
    • Mom
    • Dad
    • Teacher
    • Coach
    • Principal
    • Grandma
    • Grandpa
    • Uncle
    • Aunt
    • School Counselor
  • Please note that it is important that at least one of your child’s Grown-Up Buddies be outside the family and each of them should be able to drive a car so that they are able to seek help for your child is necessary.
  • Ask your child to name situations when it’s important to stay close to his or her Grown-Up Buddy.
  • Children should always stay close to their Grown-up Buddy whenever they are out in public
  • If your child gets separated from their Grown-up Buddy when out in a public place, encourage them to look for someone official like a firefighter or policemen, or a mother with children.

Trusted Triangle

Work with your child to complete their Trusted Triangle.

  • Using their list of Grown-Up Buddies, your child should write their names and/or draw their pictures of the three or more adults who they feel safe to go to any time they feel scared or confused. As you do this with your child, make sure the names that you write down are also people with whom you feel that your child is safe.
  • Please note that it is important that at least one of your child’s Grown-Up Buddies on their Trusted Triangle be outside the family and each of them should be able to drive a car so that they are able to seek help for your child is necessary.
  • Review your child’s Trusted Triangle with them and be sure to help update it periodically to make sure it’s current.
  • Download the letter to the Grown-up Buddies in your child’s Trusted Triangle and send to each of the adults in your child’s Trusted Triangle. Make sure that these adults know that you child looks to them for support and help. As a team, you can better protect your child. Brainstorm with your child about other adults they can turn to for help.
  • Place your child’s Trusted Triangle in a prominent place in your house, like the family refrigerator and remind your child that they can always go to the adults in their Trusted Triangle to talk about any thing that leaves them feeling confused or unsafe.

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Safety Stop Sign

Help your child learn about staying safe by using his or her Safety Stop Sign. Your child should use their Safety Stop Sign when something does not feel safe. Stress to your child they always have the ability to say “no”.

  • Ask your child when they should use their Safety Stop Sign
  • Ask your child what they should do after using their Safety Stop Sign
  • Encourage your child to always tell a Grown-Up Buddy any time that they have used their Safety Stop Sign in any situation that has made them feel unsafe.

To avoid being victimized by predators, it is important that your child know that it is okay for them to say “no” any time a touch of any kind makes them feel uncomfortable-they have the power over their own bodies.

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I Mean Business Voice

Help your child to understand that they use their I Mean Business Voice any time they need their voice to be heard in any situation where they don’t feel safe.

  • Your child’s I Mean Business Voice is spoken with conviction and authority. This voice should be different from your child’s usual speaking voice so that people know to pay special attention to them in an unsafe situation.
  • Ask your child to demonstrate their I Mean Business Voice.
  • Practice saying, “Stop! That is not safe!” using their I Mean Business Voice.
  • Make sure your child knows that they need to use their I Mean Business Voice until they are heard and helped.

To avoid being victimized by predators, it is important that your child know that it is okay for them to say “no” any time a touch of any kind makes them feel uncomfortable-they have the power over their own bodies.

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Think, Feel, Act

Help your child listen to their Guiding Voice as they use Think, Feel, Act in any confusing or unsafe situation.

  • Introduce your child to the concept of a “Guiding Voice”, the little voice inside them that helps them decide if a situation is safe or unsafe.
  • Encourage your child to pay attention to what his or her Guiding Voice says in any situation.
  • Discuss the safety process of Think, Feel, Act (TFA) as what they would think in any unsafe or confusing situation, how that situation would make them feel, and what action they would take, how would they act.
  • TFA encourages your child to take steps to tell someone when a situation makes them feel confused, scared, uncomfortable, or icky.

Asking your child what they think about possible situations helps them envision what they might do if a situation like that ever happened to them. By asking them what they think and feel about something before and after the situation, it lets them know that they can talk with you about anything, and your there to help them figure out what to do. By regularly engaging your child in such conversations, your child is more likely to come to you with real-life situations that occur, ask more questions, and gain your input.

  • In various situations that come up, ask your child what they are thinking and feeling-whether at the grocery store, home, or during extracurricular activities. Ask them, based upon their feelings, how they and you- depending on the situation-should act.
  • Whenever your child asks, “Mom, what about….” ask them what they think and feel about it first, before you give them your answer. Also, ask if their guiding Voice has told them anything lately and ask if they listened to it.

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Body Boundaries

Help your child understand the concept of personal space – the space around your body that belongs to you. Nobody should be going into your personal space without your permission, because your body belongs to you. Our body boundaries are rules we have for touches that feel safe or unsafe for our own bodies.

  • The private parts of our bodies are the parts covered by our bathing suits; your mouth is also a private part.
  • Teach your child the proper anatomical names for their private parts. Unsafe adults often use nicknames to avoid detection of abuse.
  • Stress to your child that no one should touch or look at their private parts except when they are in pain or feel that something may be wrong, or when you are with them at the doctor.
  • Encourage your child to tell you or their Grown-Up Buddy about any touch that makes them feel unsafe and to keep telling until they get the 2 H’s: heard and helped.
  • Explain the difference between a Safe Touch and an Unsafe Touch to your child. Safe touches make us feel happy, loved, and comfortable. Unsafe touches make us feel hurt, confused, icky, or not quite right.
  • We never keep touching secrets.

Children should not be forced to kiss or hug family members if they don’t feel like it, even though these are harmless touches. Forcing a child to kiss and hug people when they don’t want to sends a subtle and dangerous message that they are not in control of their own bodies and that adults hold all the power.

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Safe & Unsafe Secrets

Talk with your child about the difference between Safe and Unsafe Secrets.

  • A Safe Secret is one that will eventually be told and will make everyone smile-like a surprise party or the gender of a baby-to-be.
  • An Unsafe Secret is one that makes you feel confused, threatened, unsafe, or icky and is one that you are told not to tell.
  • Help your child understand that it is not safe to ever keep an Unsafe Secret, no matter who asks or tells them to keep a secret.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with your child.
  • Make sure your child knows that it’s okay to come to you with any information.
  • Make sure your child knows that they should never keep a secret from you.

When your child is faced with being asked or told to keep a secret:

  • Help your child to use Think, Feel, Act to process how the secret makes them feel. If it makes them feel confused, threatened, unsafe, or icky, they must tell their Grown-Up Buddy, someone in their Trusted Triangle, or a Trusted Adult.
  • Touching secrets are never safe secrets to keep.

When your child discloses an Unsafe Secret to you:

  • Believe what they are saying.
  • Validate their feelings.

Remember that children who feel like they can talk to their parents or caregivers about anything are much less susceptible to being victimized by a sexual predator.

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Tattling vs Reporting

An essential step in a child’s development is knowing when to report to an adult. While no ones likes tattling, the determination of when and what to report is rarely discussed. This leads to confusion, especially as children struggle with moral development. Explain the difference between tattling and reporting to your child and why knowing the difference is important for their safety. Reinforce this difference by providing your child with scenarios so they can decide if telling would be tattling or reporting.

  • Tattling is a complaint about someone else’s behavior and does not involve safety. For example, a sibling or friend who is not sharing a favorite toy.
  • Reporting is something that involves a threat to safety. Anything that involves a threat to their safety or someone else’s safety must be reported to a Trusted Adult or Grown-Up Buddy.
  • Ask your child to practice using their I Mean Business Voice when reporting to a Grown-Up Buddy or Trusted Adult.
  • Explain to your child that they must continue reporting until they get the 2 H’s: heard and helped.
  • Practice active listening by repeating your child’s report to them and reflecting on what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is….” and “It sounds like your are saying…..” are great ways to let your child understand that they have been heard.
  • Follow up any report your child makes to you with an action plan to let them know how they can expect to be helped.

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Strangers

Although 90% of all childhood sexual abuse is committed by someone known to the child, it is important that your child understand about the characteristics of strangers. Children should understand that not all strangers seem scary. Some strangers may even offer your child a treat, such a candy or toys. A stranger is just someone your child does not know well. Even if he or she is friendly, the mailman is a stranger. It is important for your child to understand that they should only interact with a stranger if they have a Grown-Up Buddy or parent with them. If your child encounters a stranger when they are alone, they need to seek help from a police officer, firefighter, or a mom with children.

Play the “What If?” Game with your child to reinforce the concept of the appropriate way to react to an encounter with a stranger.

Ask your child what they would do in each of the following situations:

  • What if someone asks you to help them find their dog?
  • What if someone offers you candy?
  • What if you get separated from your parents in the mall?
  • What if someone you don’t know offers to help you?

Your child may respond that they would help the stranger find his dog or that they don’t know what they would do if they got separated from you. These responses will be upsetting to you as a parent, but will provide the perfect opportunity to guide your child toward making safe choices. It is important that you know that your child might make an unsafe decision before they make it. This is a teachable moment for you and your child.

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Awareness of Surroundings

Help your child to stay safe by focusing on their surroundings and looking for unsafe situations.

  • Help your child learn how to assess their surroundings and situations by using their Safety Goggles.
  • Explain to your child that each of us has Safety Goggles with us at all times, and that they don’t need physical goggles to stay aware of safety situations. Our Safety Goggles help us to assess the safety of our surroundings and situations that we encounter.

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Cyber Safety

Technology changes daily and new sites and apps are launched all the time, so it is vital that parents consistently monitor your child’s use of the computer, table, smartphone, etc. While it’s important to respect your child’s privacy, you have a responsibility as the owner and account holder of those devices to monitor the uses and activity of them. Children should understand that it is a privilege to use these devices.

Good Cyber Citizenship is important in the home. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What are the rules for the use of internet devices in your home?
  • What are your safety settings on your internet devices?
  • What should your child do if they find an inappropriate website or see an image that is upsetting?
  • Do you know who is photographing your child and where those photos are being posted?
  • Does your child understand that once something is posted on the internet, texted, tweeted, etc. it is permanent…even if it is deleted?
  • Does your child know not to post any personal information about themselves. Pictures, address, email address, phone number…online?
  • Does your child understand that posting any personal information about others is inappropriate?
  • Does your child understand that communicating with someone they don’t know online is very dangerous because they never know with whom they are actually communicating?
  • Does your child understand that chat rooms are dangerous?

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P.L.A.N.

It’s important for your child to always have a P.L.A.N. with their Grown Up Buddies. P.L.A.N. that stands for asking Permission to go to a specific Location, explaining the Activity they’ll be doing, and providing the Names and phone numbers for Grown Up Buddies who will be watching them.

Help your child complete a P.L.A.N. for an everyday situation such as going to the movies with a friend, a sleepover, or going to the mall.

  • Reinforce the importance of each step of the P.L.A.N.
  • Stress why each step helps to keep them safe.
  • Stress that no step should ever be skipped.

Help your child to understand that sometimes situations arise that put them in the position where they might be tempted to change their P.L.A.N.:

  • Stress the importance of sticking with their P.L.A.N. and how that will keep them safe.
  • Model the appropriate way to change their P.L.A.N. by repeating the process beginning with getting Permission.

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