More than 10,500 children will this year be taught important personal safety skills with Bravehearts acclaimed Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show touring the region through its Geelong education team.
The program recently visited children at Lara Primary School to educate, empower and protect them against child sexual assault. Ditto has visited all five kindergartens and all three primary schools in Lara over the past three years meaning every school child aged four to eight has been taught the personal safety messages.
Through Ditto, the dancing lion and Bravehearts mascot, the 40-minute live production tailored for children aged from three to eight effectively teaches strategies and skills to stay safe in a range of situations from bullying to sexual assault.
Having reached 440,000 children nationally since 2008, including 23,018 from the Geelong team alone, the Ditto show is gaining momentum with an increasing number of schools and child care centres playing a key role in prevention. Around 130 schools and kindergartens have already registered for the program this year.
Bravehearts Founder and CEO Hetty Johnson AM says it’s essential that every Australian child is equipped with important personal safety knowledge and skills.
“We know that child sexual assault is for the most part preventable and educating and empowering children is paramount to prevention and so important for us to do as parents, educators, carers and members of the community,” she said.
“Since the program’s introduction in Geelong it has really been endorsed by schools which has given us a significant boost towards our commitment to reaching every child across the state with our safety message.”
Research shows that a staggering 1 in 5 children will be sexually assaulted in some way before they turn 18. Bravehearts Vision is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020 with its child safety blueprint The Three Piers to Prevention - educating, empowering and protecting children.
Ditto’s 5 Tips
Based on Bravehearts’ Ditto Keep safe Adventure program, the 5 basic principles we need to teach our children (remember: it’s never too early to sow the seeds of personal safety) are:
1) To trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings
2) To say ‘no’ to adults if they feel unsafe and unsure
3) That they own their own bodies
4) That nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it
5) That if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust.
Would you like to talk to someone? Call Bravehearts information and support line on 1800 272 831.
(Image courtesy: Geelong Advertiser)