Every child needs adults in their life they can talk to if they have been hurt or are concerned about their safety. They need adults they can trust to help keep them safe. A Safe Adult is someone who is accountable, respects body boundaries and doesn’t ask children to keep secrets from others. These Safe Adults need to know how to help if a child ever comes to them to report they have been harmed.
Help your children name at least five adults with whom they can talk when they feel unsafe, uncomfortable or confused, or if someone asks them to break a safety rule (see #9). Think of people both within and outside of the family. Those Safe Adults could include parents or caregivers, a schoolteacher, a church leader, a sport coach, a family friend, a police officer, an aunt, a grandparent or the family doctor. Whoever they are, children need to feel safe and comfortable with them.
Go with your children to tell each of the people they are the children’s Safe Adult. If a child confides in any of these people, they should listen to, support and believe the child. Encourage your child that if one of their Safe Adults does not believe them, or one of their Safe Adults makes the child feel uncomfortable or unsafe, they should go talk to one of their other Safe Adults until they believe the child and does something to help them. Let your child know that no issue is too small or too big to talk about with a Safe Adult. Make sure your children know how to contact their Safe Adults.