Child Safety/Abuse Prevention during Holiday Seasons

Along with the joy and happiness of holiday seasons comes an increased risk of the unthinkable happening to our precious children.

In fact, many of us who are involved in the child safety/abuse prevention space notice a significant spike in abuse-related calls around these times of the year; presumably as a result of the less structured environment children have during their school breaks, and due to the fact that they are exposed to a far greater number of older children and adults during the holidays. And although “stranger danger” is a genuine concern, the vast majority of molesters are family members or people well-known to the children.

For that reason, holiday seasons are an excellent time to give your children refresher talks about their personal space and safety.

Child safety education is extraordinarily effective, provided that you utilize effective, research-based techniques that will educate and empower your children without frightening them.

Some important, basic components of an effective child safety/abuse prevention program are teaching your children that…

  • No one is ever permitted to tell them to keep secrets from their parents
  • Their bodies belongs to them – teaching them the notion of ownership over their personal space
  • There is good touching and bad touching – meaning that some touching is okay, while other touching (such as in a spot covered by a bathing suit) is inappropriate
  • No one has the right to make them feel uncomfortable

I encourage you to review these 3, free, 5-minute safety videos we posted to help parents better understand the components of child safety training and why this is so effective. We did not include any Jewish content in these videos so that the broadest range of parents can benefit from them.

Video #1 – Brief overview of the four safety messages

Video #2 – Expanded treatment of safety messages 1 & 2

Video #3 – Expanded treatment of safety messages 3 & 4

Best wishes for a meaningful, enjoyable and safe Hanukah.

Yakov Horowitz

About the Author
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Founding Dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey and Director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, is a innovative educator, author, and child safety advocate. He published child safety books that are in 80,000 homes in three languages as well as beginner Gemara/Talmud & Chumash/Bible workbooks. Rabbi Horowitz conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops in Jewish communities around the world and received the prestigious 2008 Covenant Award in recognition of his contribution to Jewish education.