EMERJ-SafeNow offers year-round developmentally appropriate interactive sessions in the form of programs, workshops and camps (summer only) for underserved youth and children. All sessions aim to promote healthy behaviors and choices and are designed to build on individual and community strengths. EMERJ-SafeNow incorporates an equity and trauma-informed lens to address issues related to violence and personal safety. Learn more about our Approach and Care-defense.

Sessions for  children and youth  are usually taught in 1-3 hour modules and are generally  6-8 sessions in length depending on the needs of each community or organization. Sessions are developed in collaboration with participants and their famiiles/parents/caregivers/schools or organizations.

Our Summer Camps are here! Read more    Register Now 

We offer a sliding scale for payment and scholarships, as needed by each family community or organization. Sessions can be adapted to meet Oregon Common Core Standards for child sexual abuse prevention, sexual violence prevention and promoting healthy sexuality. Read more

Guiding Theories and Framework  
EMERJ-SafeNow utilizes a positive youth development approach to sexual violence prevention by emphaziing protective factors and promoting  positive behaviors.  By using the framework of the Social-Ecological model,  we aim  to maximize impact of our programs by addressing simultaneously  societal, community, relationship, and individual levels. Our prevention theories include:

• Developmental assets/positive youth development
• Community development
• Social norms theory
• Peer education, mentoring and modeling
• Diffusion of innovation theory
• Social change and marketing

Teaching and Learning Theories 

EMERJ-SafeNow incorporates numerous theoretical approaches  to promote learning and teaching. These include but are not limited to:  

A Student-Centered Approach

We start with the student’s interests, questions and idea on a topic to make sessions:

  1. Experiential: Sessions are active and hands on. Students practice the skills that they learn
  2. Holistic: Students learn about personal safety topics using whole ideas, events, and materials
  3. Authentic: Use of real-life ideas, rich in complexity, along with innovative materials
  4. Challenging: Students are given challenges and asked to make choices, enabling them to be the agents of their own learning

 A Cognitive and Developmental Approach

We aim to promote learning by helping students develop a true understanding of concepts through critical and reflective thinking:

  1. Developmental: Activities fit the developmental age and level of students
  2. Constructivist: Students recreate and reinvent information and knowledge
  3. Expressive: Students engage in ideas, construct meaning and remember information through media, speech, writing, drawing, drama, movement and music
  4. Reflective: Students reflect, debrief to analyze thoughts and feelings and experiences around learning

 A Social and Interpersonal Approach

EMERJ-SafeNow  embraces the social and interpersonal aspects of teaching and learning:

  1. Social: Learning is socially constructed and often interactional; facilitators create spaces that encourage interactions that “scaffold” learning.
  2. Cooperative learning activities that tap the social power of learning
  3. The environment is a model community; students learn what they live as citizens in a community

 Read more  our direction and approach to addressing and promoting healthy relationships and violence prevention.

Sessions Offering

The below suggestions are a starting point for caregivers/parents/educators and community members who  want to provide personal safety skills and training for their children. Topics and skills incorporated into  sessions are created in collaboration with caring adults from families, communities and organizations. We understand that every child has unqiue traits and learning styles and that every community has its own unique culture and beliefs around violence and personal safety.  The topics and skills below are baseline recommendations for each age group, from a platform customized by choices of the caring adults we collaborate with.

 Children, 7-9 years of age 

By helping children find and use their voice and body in a fun learning environment,  we aim to help them make healthy choices, and provide them with the skills they need to care, advocate and defend themselves.  By focusing on strengths, we hope to build confidence and resiliency, and to help students understand the importance of self care,  personal boundaries, and identifying safe adults in their lives who can advocate for them in times of need.  Some possible topics that we offer:

Advocacy for Self and Others

  • Self-Care and feeling safe
  • Mindfulness and relaxation
  • Empathy and helping others (bystander intervention)
  • Safety Planning
  • Assertive Communication
  • Safe adults and allies
  • Upstanding bystanders
  • Boundaries and limits

 Street and Personal Safety Smarts

  • Trusting your gut & being aware
  • Your environment is your friend
  • Using our words and voices
  • Staying calm and observing details
  • Stances with confidence
  • Escaping from holds and grabs
  • Blocks and covers
  • Basic strikes and kicks

Youth, 10-12 years of age

Topic suggstions for this age group can include all of the above as well as the following:


  • Self-Care and wellness
  • Mindfulness and healing after trauma
  • Safety planning and the importance of safe adults
  • Assertive communication
  • Supportive allies and upstanding bystanders
  • Community support systems
  • Resources (locally, statewide and nationally)

Relationship Smarts

  • Healthy sexuality, identity and body image
  • Identifying healthy relationships and communication
  • Setting personal limits and boundaries
  • Interpreting social norms through the media
  • Affirmative consent (verbal and nonverbal)
  • Gender equity and stereotypes
  • Equity and privilege
  • Assertive communication

Awareness and Street Smarts

  • Intuition & awareness strengthening
  • Identifying allies
  • Using the environment & objects for protection
  • Harassment and bullying behaviors
  • Internet safety (cyberbullying, sexting)

Verbal Techniques

  • De-escalation & conflict resolution
  • Negotiation & use of false compliance
  • Yelling and breaking silence
  • Being assertive vs being aggressive or passive
  • Self-talk and internal thoughts

Physical Techniques

  • Escapes
  • Blocking and covers
  • Strikes & kicks
  • Ground protection
  • Protection in enclosed environments
  • Protection with objects

Youth ages 14 and above

Suggestions for this group include all of the previous topics and skills as well as the following:

Additional Topics

  • Sexting and Sextortion
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Depression and suicide
  • Human Trafficking/Commercial Sexual Exploitation
  • Sexual Assault (harassment, stalking, rape)
    • Healing, resources, confidentiality and options for reporting


  • Weapons Protection
  • Protection from Multiple attackers

Contact us to find out how we can bring EMERJ-SafeNow to your community!