Series Educates and Empowers Minors to Speak Up About Unsafe Situations
IRVING, Texas (July 19, 2021) — The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has launched a new series of personal safety awareness videos in partnership with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center as part of ongoing efforts to help keep young people safe. The four new videos were developed and scripted by child advocates, psychologists, and national scholars, and are aimed at youth ages 14-17. The series will also be available to adults who are actively seeking out educational opportunities to learn how to better respond to and identify unsafe situations on behalf of minors.
The age-appropriate guidance is intended to help young people know how to safely seek help in a variety of situations — including when facing abuse by a family member, trusted adult, or another youth. These topics are critically relevant given that more than a third of all sexual offenses against youth reported to police are committed by another youth, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We are dedicated to ensuring every child’s right to a normal, safe, healthy, and secure life,” said John Thoresen, Director and CEO of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. “We do this by providing the tools and resources necessary to identify, prevent, and report unsafe situations. This new personal safety awareness video series with the BSA goes a long way toward fulfilling this goal by providing those involved in Scouting, and all minors, with these resources for creating safer and healthier lives.”
This new series marks the second phase of the partnership between the two organizations, which began in 2019 when the BSA expanded access to the Center’s Protect Yourself Rules video series by building it into the existing curriculum and making it available to more than one million Cub Scouts (ages 5-10) and their parents. In a recent survey, nearly 93% of parents of Cub Scouts who utilized the videos said the resources helped them have a conversation with their child about protecting themselves.
“We are committed to constantly improving our youth protection efforts and being part of the broader solution to end child abuse,” said Roger Mosby, Chief Scout Executive, President and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America. “Partnering with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center to expand the series of animated videos is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to protect young people — in Scouting and everywhere else.”
In addition to the Protect Yourself Rules video series, which is available on Scouting.org for youth ages 5-10 and now teens ages 14-17, the BSA has educational content for youth ages 11-13 as well as multi-layered, expert-informed safeguards in place to help prevent abuse across all age groups. These safeguards include: mandatory youth protection training for all volunteers and employees; a leadership policy that requires at least two youth-protection trained adults be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities and bans one-on-one situations where adults would have any interaction alone with children — either in person, online, or via phone or text; a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff including criminal background checks; a ban on the use of recording devices/cell phones near bathrooms and shower houses; and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement. More information about the BSA’s youth safety measures is available at Scouting.org/YouthSafety.
About the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center
Founded in 1986 by Barbara and Frank Sinatra, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center is dedicated to ensuring every child’s right to a normal, healthy and secure childhood. Since its creation, about 23,000 children have received outpatient mental health and counseling services at the center. The Center provides individual, group, and family therapy and special programs that address issues associated with children suffering the effects of child abuse and neglect. An estimated 700 children are counseled annually on an outpatient basis, and no child is ever turned away because of a family’s inability to pay. For more information, visit: BarbaraSinatraChildrensCenter.org. The animated video series, funded by the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, has reached over 100 million children worldwide and generated over 37 million individual and group viewings on YouTube throughout the United States and abroad.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of more than 1 million youth members (ages 5-17), participants (ages 17-21), and adult volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.