About the Personal Safety Program
The Personal Safety Program is offered for free to schools in Dutchess County and provides age-appropriate, in-class instruction on sexual abuse prevention, bullying prevention, and digital safety to youth Pre-K through 8th grade. The program utilizes the Monique Burr Foundation‘s evidence-based curriculum, Child Safety Matters and Teen Safety Matters to teach youth the 5 Safety Rules they can use to keep themselves safe in any unwanted or unsafe situation.
This program also helps schools meet the requirements of Erin’s Law, a law passed in New York State requiring public schools to provide a prevention-oriented sexual abuse program.
Why your school should consider the Personal Safety Program
90% of child sexual abuse is done by someone a child knows and trusts. This is often why it can be difficult for a child to speak out and tell someone. Through the Personal Safety Program, students learn that no one has the right to hurt them or make them feel unsafe, and that they must report any unsafe situations no matter who or what it is. Students also learn the difference between a safe and unsafe secret. All students are taught that it is never their fault if someone breaks the safety rules, and they should always tell a safe adult, even if they have been told to keep it a secret by their abuser.
3rd Grade Student in Dutchess County
The Teddy Bear Coin
Each child who takes our Personal Safety lesson receives a wooden coin with the CPCA teddy bear logo on it. If a child has trouble speaking up to tell someone they have identified as a “safe adult” about an incident or a situation that feels unsafe, they may choose to turn in the coin as a way to tell the safe adult they need help.
If a child turns in their coin to you:
- Remain calm
- Let them know you believe them
- Listen and ask open-ended questions (“What happened?” “Who did this?” “When did this happen?”)
- Show interest and concern
- Take action and report
Volunteer for the Personal Safety Program
We are always looking for special volunteers to help teach school-aged children about personal safety. Volunteers will be trained by our Personal Safety Coordinator on how to give personal safety lessons at local schools.