The Salvation Army is committed to protecting kids from abuse. We’re serious about that and have spent the last eleven years developing a robust safety program called Protecting the Mission (PTM) that allows kids to be themselves in a safe setting.
PTM is a holistic effort we use across all of our programs to screen potential employees and volunteers who work with kids. Once they’re hired, all personnel get training on how to prevent abuse, and how to properly report suspicious activity to the authorities.
Our goal is to model safe behavior and teach our children how to safeguard themselves and others no matter where they are.
In the last eleven years, hundreds of Salvation Army personnel have received a week-long advanced training that qualifies them to be the local Protecting the Mission Consultant.
One of our recent trainees has a film degree so he put his newfound knowledge and his movie-making skills together to create a ten minute piece on child safety.
My favorite moment of the video starts at about 4 minutes in. The child stars of the video hold up cardboard squares that reach from their shoulders to their thighs and sing: “Stop! Don’t touch me there. That is my ‘no-no’ square.”
In the next few weeks, your kids are likely to spend time at the local community center, day camp, vacation Bible school or summer school program. Please make sure they know how to stay safe.
Show them this video or share the following tips with them:
— Don’t take a gift from anybody unless they’ve asked your parents first
— Don’t be in anybody’s [personal space] “bubble.” Don’t let anyone be in your “bubble.”
— One at a time in the bathroom
— Don’t go to anybody’s house unless you’ve called your parents and they know about it
— No lap sitting; no back rubs
— Keep your hands to yourself: ‘no tickle, tickle; no touchy, touchy”
— And remember: “Stop! Don’t touch me there. That is my “no-no” square.”
Most important: be sure to tell them that if something happens, tell a trusted adult or their parents.