Safe Touch

Safe Touch teaches that every child deserves to feel safe at home, at school, and in their community.

Safe Touch

Safe Touch teaches that every child deserves to feel safe at home, at school, and in their community.

By identifying touches as safe, unsafe, or confusing, students learn that no one should touch their body in a way that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Students learn the Safety Saying – say no, get away, tell someone – and practice expressing their boundaries. The program also addresses the idea of secrets and tricks while teaching children that it is never their fault if someone else violates safe boundaries. We work with students to identify adults both at home and at school that they can talk to if they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable. 

These messages are repeated each year with age-appropriate language and materials, and families receive materials to reinforce safety lessons at home. Safe Touch is designed for continuous learning: each year’s curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge taught in previous years, offering students a clear and sustained message about safety and achieving best results for preventing violence. Safe Touch programs are research-based, meeting national and school standards for personal safety education.

What Parents Are Saying

Are you a parent with questions about Safe Touch? Click here for our FAQs and Resources.

“The [lessons] were all age-appropriate, and they did a good job of exposing students to these important issues without making them unnecessarily uncomfortable.”

Teacher

“I know that the Safe Touch program really empowered [my daughter]. Knowing that she has these skills and the understanding that her body is her own makes me sleep better at night!"

Parent

“The content was clear, simple, and age-appropriate. I personally felt empowered that I can teach my child appropriately in ways that will help her stay safe.”

Parent

Safe Touch Programs

We offer our educational programs in both English and Spanish, including a curriculum for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Programs for Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are offered free of charge. Outside OCS and CHCCS, we offer programs at an hourly rate, with additional access through a sliding scale. Please do not let cost be a barrier to bringing this content to your group. Contact us for more information.

You Are a Special Person​

Ages 3-6 | 20-30 minutes
Together we read a picture book called Safe Touches Only, students practice the Safety Saying, and puppets are used to role play age-appropriate situations.

What To Do​

Ages 6-8 | 30 minutes
Students practice boundary setting, learning ‘your body belongs to you.’ Students learn a safety song and safe ways to tell someone when they are uncomfortable. Together we practice the Safety Saying and brainstorm trusted adults.

Someone to Talk To​

Ages 6-8 | 45 minutes
Students review and practice the Safety Saying. A puppet show addresses different types of abuse, with discussion emphasizing the importance of talking to a trusted adult. Students identify trusted adults and how to talk to them when they are uncomfortable.

Yes You Can Say No​

Ages 8-10 | 45 minutes
A 15-minute video followed by discussion teaches students how to stand up for themselves in the face of abuse and how to talk to a trusted adult. Students use problem-solving skills to figure out how to be safe in situations involving games, tricks, and secrecy.

Internet Safety + Cyberbullying​

Ages 9-12 | 45 minutes
Students learn about internet safety and digital citizenship, empowering them to reflect on their own internet use, identify safe practices, and practice positive communication. We introduce the concepts of cyberbullying and bystander intervention.

Preventing Sexual Bullying​

Ages 9-12 | 60 minutes
Building on knowledge of bullying, this program shifts focus to unwanted attention from peers. Students learn what they can do and where to turn for help if they encounter sexual bullying.

Safe Touch FAQs

Child sexual abuse includes any sexual act between an adult and a minor or between two minors when one exerts power over the other. CSA includes forcing, coercing, or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act. It also includes non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism, and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or the Internet.

Kids learn how to recognize inappropriate behavior and react when someone makes them uncomfortable. By teaching kids to “say no, get away, tell someone,” Safe Touch prevents abuse in several ways:

  1. Children with the confidence to say no and report abuse are perceived as less vulnerable by predators and are therefore less likely to be victimized.
  2. Because most abuse gradually escalates over time, teaching kids to identify and report inappropriate behavior early helps prevent further or more severe abuse.
  3. Safe Touch helps children already suffering from abuse to find the strength and the language to report it. Staff and volunteers are trained to look for ‘red flags’ during our programs that might suggest a child is at risk.

Our curriculum is truly comprehensive, with each year’s lesson building on the skills students have learned in the past years. Safe Touch aims to prevent sexual abuse by helping students fully understand safe and healthy relationships. By learning that “your body belongs to you” at a young age, children easily grasp the concept of consent when it is introduced as “flirting vs. bullying” in upper elementary and middle school. Start Strong, our middle school program, has a peer-to-peer focus, teaching tweens that sexual behaviors such as holding hands and hugging are only okay if the other person wants to do it. By learning to respect boundaries at a young age, teens have a deeper understanding of healthy relationships when they learn about communication, consent, and sexual assault in high school. Building key concepts and skills over several years allows students to learn boundaries, communication, and consent in a more effective, lasting way. Furthermore, our programs are based on the best available research, follow national best practice standards, and are provided by highly trained educators.

We offer our Safe Touch programs are available in both English and Spanish, as well as a special curriculum for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Contact us to discuss how we can customize programs for your group.

Request a Safe Touch Program

For Additional Information

Please contact us at info@ocrcc.org for more information.