24-Hour Helplines:  Phone: (919) 967-7273  Text: (919) 504-5211  Online Chat:

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.

About Safe Touch

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.

Safe Touch Programs

We offer our educational programs in both English and Spanish, including a curriculum for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Safe Touch and Start Strong are offered in Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. These programs are available to any group 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. 

All Safe Touch programs are currently being offered virtually live or pre-recorded.

you are a special person

Pre-K/Kindergarten | 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

1st Grade | 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​

2nd Grade | 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​

3rd Grade | 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​

4th Grade | 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​

5th Grade | 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.

Free Resources for Families

Body Safety Lesson Guide During COVID-19
This guide is intended to support parents in navigating personal safety conversations with their kids during the pandemic and beyond!
Click here to download

Internet Safety During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, students are using the internet and technology now more than ever to keep up with schoolwork, friends, family, and entertainment. This guide is intended to support parents in navigating internet safety conversations with their kids during the pandemic and beyond.
Click here to download

Preventing Sexual Bullying
Parents are encouraged to use this guide with the accompanying Safe Touch Online video series, “Flirting Not Hurting: What is Sexual Bullying?” The lesson is intended to provide information and skills for 5th grade students to recognize the difference between flirting and sexual bullying, be aware of others’ boundaries, and engage in healthy communication.
Click here to download the lesson guide

Safe Touch Coloring Book
“You Are a Special Person” is one of OCRCC’s take home materials from our Safe Touch programs. The story accompanying the coloring pages make this an excellent way to review body safety with your children and start important discussions at home! The language and images in this coloring book are designed to be age-appropriate for children ages 3-7, though it could be fun for anyone!
Click here to download in English
Click here to download in Spanish
Click here to download in Burmese
Click here to download in Karen

Feelings Thermometer and Coping Skills Chart
With this kid-friendly graphic you can build social and emotional learning by taking your feelings temperature. When you know how you feel, you can know how to take care of yourself!
Click here to download

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 abusers 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 Safe Touch programs  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.

What Parents Are Saying

“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

Request a Safe Touch Program

Safe Touch programs are currently only available in North Carolina.