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  • Writer's pictureLizzie Charbonneau

Safety Circles

There are lots of different names for a safety circle in the Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) advocacy space, such as Safety Network (@jayneensandersauthor/@educate2empower), Prevention Team™ (@parentingsafechildren), or Prevention Village (@buddy_speaks) (@mamabeareffect also uses "Safety Circle").⁠

A safety circle is a group of around 5 trusted adults that a child chooses that they can talk to about hard topics. Importantly, at least 2 people in your child’s safety circle should NOT be family members. Having people outside of the family in your child’s safety circle helps protect your child from incest, which accounts for 34% of CSA*.⁠ ⁠

Some examples of people a child might select to be in their safety circle are:⁠

👨‍👧‍👦 Their parents or primary caretakers⁠

👵🏿 Aunts/Uncles/Grandparents⁠

🤝 Family friends or friends’ parents⁠

👩🏽‍🏫 Teachers⁠

⚽ Coaches⁠

🛐 Religious leaders⁠ ⁠

The adults a child chooses should be people the child will talk to when they are uncomfortable or scared.⁠ ⁠

After your child has chosen who they would like in their safety circle, invite those people so they actively agree to be a part of a safety circle and have a conversation with them about that means.⁠ ⁠

Keep an eye out for future posts about expectations for adults in a child’s safety circle, and how to talk to them about those expectations.

Note: The safety circle that your child chooses should be a subset of the people that you’ve spoken to about your child’s body safety rules, which is ideally all caregivers for your child.⁠ ⁠

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