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Sexual Abuse-Free Environment for Teens



SAFE-T: Sexual Abuse Prevention for Grades 7-8

The Sexual Abuse Free Environment for Teens™ (SAFE-T) program was designed by Prevent Child Abuse Vermont to promote healthy relationships and behaviors in middle school communities, helping youth identify those areas that put them at risk for being hurt and for hurting others. Through ten lessons, SAFE-T continues the process of developing social emotional skills, and introduces age-appropriate information about topics such as sexual harassment and sexually abusive behaviors.

Early adolescence is a challenging time for young people and caregivers alike. Teens are beginning to make independent decisions about their sexuality and relationships. At the same time, they are highly vulnerable to sexual harassment, violence, and risky influences from peers, drugs and alcohol, and the media.

While early adolescence is such a vulnerable time, it is also an accessible time. Early adolescents are developmentally available to the proactive intervention of caring, creative adults. The reality of their new capacity for independent action and thought means they are available to tackle the larger debates about ethics, relationships, and values. Their cognitive jump to abstract thinking means they are forming a world view. And, in terms of being available to learn at many levels, young adolescents are still able to play and learn by playing, given a socially and emotionally safe space.