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I Am Safe: Helping Children Know What To Do If... (Paperback)
The coloring book, I AM SAFE, has pleasant, cheerful pictures and begins with safety tips children are already comfortable and familiar with, such as fire safety or bike safety. It moves into healthy ways to express the concepts of good touch/bad touch, what to do if an adult gives them a present to keep a bad secret, etc. As a child goes through the book, it presents protective concepts in the same way for abuse as it does for fire safety, helping the child learn without being frightened. Most importantly, along with the coloring book comes a parent/teacher/advocate companion. This companion book has smaller versions of the same pictures, so an adult can color along with the child, creating a comforting setting rather than a "We need to talk" discussion setting. The adult version has additional information that can be adapted to the child's age and level of understanding, including statistics, questions to ask, and some great ideas, such as a family password. I AM SAFE is created for advocacy groups, churches, schools, and homes - appropriate for children in sheltered environments as well as children overcoming past abuse. Personal Note by Author Kimberly Rae: When I first had kids, if someone told me I should talk with my children at an early age about good touch/bad touch, and rules about what to do if an adult crossed the boundaries into inappropriate behavior, I'd have probably shrunk away and thought that was over-the-top paranoid. Besides, how would I bring up the topic without telling them way more than they needed to hear? Now that I know that 90% of childhood sexual abuse cases occur with someone the child already knows, I don't assume that strangers are the only danger to my children, and if I keep them from suspicious people, they will be safe. Predators are good at getting adults and children to trust them, and they often target places where they gain access to lots of kids in authority-based environments (such as churches, summer camps, schools, etc.). I write and train on human trafficking and over the years my research has brought me to what I believe is one of the most important and most overlooked aspects of trafficking - childhood sexual abuse. There is a huge, huge overlap between victims of childhood abuse and victims of childhood and adult exploitation. We might be able to shield the children we love from being targeted on the internet or in the mall, but the fact that child abuse frequently happens by someone the child knows (and often someone the entire family trusts) is terrifying. Because of this, kids need to be taught when behavior crosses from appropriate and loving to inappropriate and abusive. However, like me, many adults are wary of broaching the topic, unsure of how to present helpful information without over-educating or scaring children. Others just don't know what to say. I partly created this resource for myself. I have two children and would much rather talk comfortably over a coloring page than sit them down at the table and have a training session that will make us all nervous. I wanted something conservative parents would feel comfortable sharing with their children. I wanted something I could offer parents, teachers or advocates that would help victims talk about it and overcome, taking away vulnerability to further exploitation in the future. I can't express how much I want childhood sexual abuse to stop. How important it is that children are empowered to know that when something is wrong, they have options and what those options are. To understand that sexual abuse is a crime and should be treated as such. Right now statistics say 1 in every 4 women and 1 in every 6 men experienced some form of childhood sexual abuse. I meet them often when I speak. Many have still never told. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, through resources like I AM SAFE, we could change that statistic for the next generation? Find out more at www.kimberlyrae.com.
About the Author
Award-winning author of over 20 books, Kimberly Rae has been writing and training about human trafficking and exploitation for several years in multiple venues. Rae lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia before Addison's disease brought her permanently back to the US. She now lives at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and two young children. Rae has been published over 300 times and has work in 5 languages. Contact Rae or order autographed books at www.kimberlyrae.com. The Journey to I AM SAFE: Rae has an Amazon bestselling series of suspense/romance novels on international human trafficking for adults (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, and Stolen Future). When Rae's research brought her to the knowledge that the average age for teen girls to get trafficked in the US is 12-14 and the average age for boys 11-13, she also wrote a series of novels for teens and pre-teens, presenting trafficking in an age-appropriate way for children as young as 10 (Capturing Jasmina, Buying Samir, and Seeking Mother). However, when speaking and training, her focus on preventing trafficking by preventing childhood sexual abuse, or helping children to overcome so they would not be victims of continued exploitation, she realized the resource missing was something to help children know not just what behavior crossed the line of appropriateness, but what to do if someone crossed that line. Parents, teachers, and advocates needed a way to present information to children that would not over-educate or frighten children. Concerned about the difficulties such a project would face, Rae put off the project for over a year, but every time she spoke, the continued confrontation with the need compelled her to find a way. I AM SAFE was created to meet that need for both children and adults to be able to address this important issue in a non-threatening, comfortable way. For sample pages, interviews, or bulk orders, contact the author at www.kimberlyrae.com.