A Sexual Abuse Prevention Program
The Personal Safety Program is a free program for Dutchess County schools that provides in-class presentations about sexual abuse prevention to children Pre-K to 5th grade. The program uses age-appropriate presentations to teach children to use their voice and speak out against their abuser. This lesson is considered a “just in case” lesson, similar to how students view fire drills. Just in case something bad happens, the student will know what to do to protect themselves. The program is offered once a year and students learn what to do if someone made them feel uncomfortable and broke the personal safety rules.
Typically the child abuser of sexual abuse is someone that the child knows and trusts. This is why it can be difficult for children to speak out and tell. The students learn through the Personal Safety Program that it is never their fault if someone breaks the rules, and that to be a good boss of their bodies they should tell a trusted adult even if the abuser is telling the child to keep it a secret. The students learn the the difference between happy and bad secrets, and are taught to never keep in a bad secret.