You Are in Charge of Your Body Version A
Running Time: 34 Minutes
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You Are In Charge of Your Body is an age-appropriate, comprehensive curriculum (video and print) developed by elementary school educators and sexual abuse experts. The goal is to protect young children from abuse by helping them to understand what sexual abuse is, how they can recognize it, how and whom to tell, and empowering kids to take charge of their bodies. Carefully and sensitively presented, the video uses animated scenarios to illustrate sexual abuse situations and model how kids should react to protect themselves. The key message is that sexual abuse is not the fault of the child and that they don't have to endure abuse in silence.
Version A does refer to the anatomically correct body parts by name.
Part One: Recognizing Sexual Abuse
The concept of body boundaries is introduced and the difference between safe and unsafe touches is illustrated using the real names of private body parts (penis, vagina, breasts and buttocks). Three examples of safe/unsafe touch are told using stylized animation.
Part Two: Stopping an Abuser
This program teaches kids what to do if their body boundaries have been crossed. Using the same scenarios from Part One, students are taught NO and GO; how to say NO assertively and how to GO safely and quickly.
Part Three: Telling Someone
Part three teaches kids how to create their personal safety network. It’s a list of trusted adults to go to for help in an emergency including parents, teachers, and others. Viewers learn how to tell a trusted adult what happened using the real names of body parts. Acted out scenarios demonstrate exactly how to do this. Kids are reassured that sexual abuse is never their fault or something to keep secret. If someone touches you inappropriately, tell a trusted adult.
"The team at Human Relations Media has hit the ball out of the park once again! Their latest project, "You Are In Charge of Your Body" is educational and empowering for our children today. They will learn to recognize sexual abuse as it occurs, protect themselves from it, and know how and whom to tell.
I hope that all of our school-aged children will have this video series available to see as soon as possible. The benefits will be immeasurable!"
–Peter L. Richel, MD, FAAP
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
DVD includes both videos and teacher's resource books for Version A and Version B.
CINE Golden Eagle Award
CINE Special Jury Award
Highly Recommended. Designed for grades 3-5, this important program takes a direct but age-appropriate approach to the subject of sexual abuse, featuring adult and kid actors who continue to remind viewers "don't worry, we'll only be acting." Combining dramatic re-enactments with real-life kid commentary, and animated segments, You Are In Charge of Your Body is primarily divided into three sections with vignettes that are followed by a summary/review incorporating advice on how to deal with situations. "Recognizing Sexual Abuse" addresses body boundaries (the bathing suit parts), warning signs (even without actual touching), and emphasizes the fact that abusers don't necessarily look creepy and may even seem normal. "Stopping an Abuser" assures kids that they can be assertive and say "NO!—even to a grownup—noting that it's okay to lie in order to get away if you feel in danger. "Telling Someone" includes suggestions for creating a safety network of family or school workers, with information for the National Abuse Hotline. DVD extras include a PDF teacher's guide. A fine guidance title on a serious subject, this is highly recommended.
It's clear from the headlines that we need to arm our children with information about sexual abuse so they can recognize dangerous situations and react appropriately. This program does the job nicely. It is divided into three segments. In the first, sexual abuse is clearly defined, as are the body boundaries children should protect. Swimsuit areas are the focus, and cartoon pictures show a naked boy and girl, front and back, with their private parts clearly labelled using correct terms. Sexual abuse is defined as anything that may violate those body boundaries in yourself or someone else (such as the abuser showing those areas of the body). The emotional responses a child might feel in such situations—fear, embarrassment, shock, etc.—are explored. Part 2 tells viewers what to do in dangerous situations, focusing on saying "NO!" and leaving quickly. Being assertive is emphasized. The final segment urges children to tell a trusted person about the abuse and keep repeating it until action is taken. Three vignettes showing situations that might be sexual abuse are acted out. To minimize trauma, the performers clearly state that they are acting and are always fully clothed. These vignettes extend through all three segments—setting up the situation, showing how the child could handle it, and demonstrating how to tell an adult. All three focus on people the child already knows. The material presented is frequently reviewed. Children will find this informative and empowering. It is also a valuable resource for school counselors and parents.
—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA
School Library Journal