Working together to keep our children safe, strong and free.

Sometimes parents, grandparents, and others who take care of young children are initially afraid to talk with them about abuse and assault. They worry they might say the wrong thing. They worry they may frighten their children. We think it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious. We need to talk with our children about difficult issues like abuse, but it’s important to do it right. With the help of CAP, we believe doing it right is not that hard.

In partnership with Newton and Brookline schools, the Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) brings workshops to elementary school children that teach simple strategies to reduce their vulnerability to verbal, physical and sexual assault and violence. CAP also provides information to parents and teachers that gives them the language to talk to children in a way that works for children and adults alike. In so many cases, there’s something simple and effective a child can do to handle a situation on their own, or something they can do to get help. For example:

  • When another child, even a friend, says or does something intentionally hurtful and they keep doing it, a child can learn to stand up for themselves by using assertive language, peer support and help from a trusted adult.
  • Strangers tend to lure children from a front yard, a grocery store or other bustling areas – places where the children are within earshot of their parents or other adults who can help. But every child can learn the Special Safety Yell. And it could save their life.
  • People who molest children count on secrecy to get away with their assaults. People within the family who abuse children count on secrecy, too. Both types of abusers scare children into silence. But every child can learn the difference between safe and unsafe secrets and that they don’t have to keep a secret that is confusing, scary or hurtful. They can learn how to tell their trusted adults to get help.

Through age-appropriate, skill-oriented CAP classroom workshops, children learn and are encouraged to use practical skills to become confident in their own problem-solving abilities, strengthening their capacity to recognize and respond to uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations. CAP teaches children the importance of assertiveness, peer support and turning to trusted adults for assistance. Teaching that everyone has the right to be Safe, Strong and Free, CAP guides children step-by-step from fear to confidence by means of non-threatening language and active participation in role plays. Community education presentations are available to parents in every Newton and Brookline elementary school, as well as other adult groups upon request. For more information about how you can speak to your own children about how they can be Safe, Strong and Free, please refer to the Adult Information Guide or contact us.

Why is it so hard for so many of us parents to sit down and talk with our children about sensitive safety issues? We all want our children to feel safe exploring the world, but since we cannot always be with them, we need to empower our children to recognize a potentially dangerous interaction and to know what to do. CAP’s Parenting to Protect Our Children From Sexual Assault workshop focuses on educating our adult community on how they can empower our children to be “Safe, Strong, and Free.” This workshop is different from CAP’s traditional Parent Meeting, where we describe the classroom workshop so parents and guardians can give permission for their child to participate in a CAP presentation. The focus of this webinar will be on prevention education, suggestions on what all adults can do to empower children to be safer, links to resources, and time at the end for Q & A. This webinar is appropriate for all adults caring for elementary age children.

Contact CAP

Inquire about our CAP Child Assault Prevention programs.
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Resources for Parents

Resources to help parents.
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