What is Safe Touches©?
Safe Touches is an evidence-based, age-appropriate child sexual abuse prevention program designed for children in kindergarten through third grade. The classroom-based workshop is 45-minutes long, highly interactive and fun. Specially trained, masters-level facilitators use puppets to teach children important body safety concepts that can help keep them safe from child sexual abuse. Children learn the difference between safe and not safe touches, the private parts of the body, and safety tools they can use if they ever receive a not safe touch or feel unsafe. Following the workshop, each child receives the Safe Touches My Body Belongs to Me activity booklet to bring home and complete with a parent or caregiver. The activity booklet reinforces the safety concepts learned in the workshop and facilitates conversations about body safety at home.
Safe Touches is now offered virtually! Students can learn the necessary tools needed to keep themselves safe from sexual abuse whether they are learning at home or school. Using pre-recorded puppet skits, Safe Touches Virtual facilitators engage students in discussion, teaching them important body safety information while explaining what they can do if they, or someone they know, ever feel unsafe.
Outcomes 2007 to Present
- Number of children who received the Safe Touches Program in New York – 42,972 (822 were virtual)
- Number of children who received Safe Touches Program in Greece – 2,376
- Number of children who received Safe Touches Program through our partnership with Penn State – 14,000
The NYSPCC facilitates the Safe Touches program throughout New York City, and is an approved vendor with the New York Department of Education. Through a generous grant from The Horace Mann School, all schools in the Bronx are able to receive Safe Touches workshops for their students free of charge. Additionally, The NYSPCC’s Training Institute has partnered with other organizations to train professionals in the Safe Touches curriculum, allowing the program to be facilitated throughout the United States and in other countries.
In 2014, The NYSPCC concluded a two-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to rigorously evaluate the Safe Touches program. Study data revealed that children who participated in a Safe Touches workshop demonstrated significant increases in knowledge and retained knowledge at follow-up.