16 October 2017

Head of Junior School

Protective Behaviours: Skills for Life

Children are vulnerable simply because they are vulnerable. Our role as parents and educators is to prepare them as best we can to navigate the world around them and the life ahead of them. We need to be able to empower children without ruining their innocence.

In their daily lives, children will interact with a range of other children. They will overhear conversations and words we may think they would not hear. They have an understanding of areas like 'sex' that is based on conversations in their friendship groups but they do not have the knowledge or maturity to deal with these. These skills do not simply develop they need to be taught.

Research shows that some form of unwanted sexual contact will offend one in four mainstream children. For children with special needs, it is one in two. We need to provide children with the skills to resist and to protect themselves. Children are told from an early age that stealing is wrong. Parents and relatives, books and media reinforce this. They need to be given the knowledge to say 'no' if someone asks them to steal. We need to do the same to help children protect themselves.

On Tuesday 20 September, the Junior School is hosting a keynote presentation from Protective Behaviours WA. This organisation provides a prevention and education based programme that teaches life skills that can be applied to any unsafe situation but specifically sexual abuse. It teaches parents how to teach their children about their right to feel and to be safe.

The Protective Behaviours Programme is child-focused and informed by a fundamental belief that children have a right to physical and psychological safety at all times, and that we as individuals, parents, communities and governments must play a part in protecting children of all ages and from all walks of life.

Protective Behaviours WA is primarily committed to strengthening the capacity of individuals, parents, communities and governments to protect children from bullying, child abuse and domestic violence. Their programmes have been designed to equip people with the knowledge and tools to shield children from harm.

The Purpose Of This Workshop

1. To provide parents and carers with a basic understanding of child sexual abuse and other unsafe situations.

2. To provide specific personal safety training skills, techniques and examples to use with your children.

3. To lessen your anxiety about your children's safety, so you can allow them the freedom of movement they need as they grow up.

I encourage parents to join us for this important and informative talk. Tickets are available for $10.00 each on the Scotch College website via the 'Book a Scotch College Event' icon.

Mr John Stewart

Head of Junior School