Workshop keeps kids safe

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Young children have learnt how to pull out their inner Wonder Woman and Superman to be assertive and feel safe, thanks to the Youth Involvement Council.

With Protective Behaviours program creator Holly-Ann Martin visiting YIC HQ last week, Hedland youths participated in protective behaviours workshops where they learnt how to be safe in public and private situations and what to do when they feel uncomfortable.

YIC chief executive Vicki-Tree Stephens said while the Protective Behaviours program had since been incorporated into school curriculums, it was important to the youth council to continue the education outside a school room setting.

“Protective Behaviours is all about keeping kids safe, all about public and private parts, public and private behaviours, public and private touch and what to do when they come across private picture and videos,” she said.

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“Some of the things the kids come out with when Holly is here, you really get that strong sense that they want to have that conversation, they want to go there and have questions and curiosity there, so it’s our responsibility to help them,” she said.

Safe4Kids program managing director Ms Martin said she held the workshops across Australia to help children stay safe from abuse, in all its forms.

“The statistics on child abuse, and in particular child sexual abuse, are profoundly disturbing,” she said.

“Very few statistics take into consideration children who have been exposed to pornography, which is a form of child sexual abuse, and it is on the increase.” Ms Stephens said YIC actively tried to get Ms Martin up at every opportunity to hold the work-shops because of her passion and knowledge of protective behaviours.

“We can’t undermine that (children) are all exposed to these things at a very young age and no one is immune to it, no matter how good your family is.

“We need to teach them how to manage it proactively rather than try clean up the mess afterwards when it’s affected them.”

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