Time for a Safety Talk/Refresher
Over the years, we have noticed a significant spike in abuse-related calls to Project YES around the joyous Pesach and Succos Yomim Tovim.
Those of us who work in the arena of child safety attribute the greater number of abuse cases during these times of year to:
1) The less structured environment at home, in Shul and at play.
2) The fact that children are exposed to a far greater number of pre-teens, teenagers and adults during Yom Tov then they are during the average school week.
We are all busy before Yom Tov, but we at Project YES strongly encourage you to speak to your children about child safety before Pesach, and give them a refresher talk if you already have.
Thankfully, there is now an unprecedented awareness of the importance of child safety and we have come to the painful understanding that our community is not immune to the ravages of abuse and molestation.
We plead with you to take this matter seriously and do everything in your power to keep your kids safe. There are two steps you ought to take in order to accomplish this:
1) Have safety talks with your children – using effective, research-based techniques that will educate and empower your children without frightening them.
2) See to it that they are properly supervised over Yom Tov.
There are four basic messages that children need to internalize in order for any abuse prevention program to be truly effective:
1. Your body belongs to you
2. No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable
3. No secrets from parents
4. Good touching/bad touching
Please educate yourself before speaking to your children so that your discussions generate light and not heat. Additionally, it is important for you to know – and to share with your children – that although “stranger danger” is a genuine concern, the vast majority of molesters are family members or people well-known to the children.
As Tenafly Police Chief Michael Bruno brilliantly said during a talk he gave on child safety, “We need to train our children to consider the “it” (the inappropriate action being done to them) not the “whom” (regardless of the relationship or stature of the individual who is doing it).
There are free resources available in the Karasick Child Safety Initiative section of our website www.kosherjewishparenting.com, and we encourage you to take advantage of them:
• A comprehensive list of Links to Safety Resources for Parents
• An introduction to our “Let’s Stay Safe” book by Dr. David Pelcovitz
• Our 32-minute Video on Child Safety
• Our Yiddish Video on Child Safety
Our best-selling Child Safety picture book Let’s Stay Safe! was published in conjunction with ArtScroll. You can find it in your local bookstore or order it online from Project YES here.
Our most recent release is a read-aloud, downloadable video version of our children’s safety book.
Thanks for reading these lines, and kindly take a minute to forward this to others – for the only way our children and grandchildren will be safe, is when each and every one of us is well educated about child safety.
Best wishes for a Chag Kosher V’samayach and much Nachas from your family.
To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.