New approach to child abuse for schools

The Safe You Safe Me protocol is aimed at helping schools recognize signs that they suspect might be related to child abuse, and respond more quickly to them. Teachers, pupils and parents will all be involved. The Dutch Kinderpostzegel Foundation and Rabobank Foundation both support this method.

A new law, the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse (Reporting Code) Act, will come into effect on 1 July 2013 and all professionals and organizations involved in caring for children will be required to draw up a reporting code. Primary schools will also have to comply with this requirement. VeiligheidNL, a non-profit safety consultancy, has developed a modular method under the name Safe You Safe Me specifically for this purpose. The basic component of this method consists of skills enhancement for teachers, a team meeting and a meeting with a child psychologist. This enables the school to comply with the law in terms of training and compiling a protocol, and makes it easier for the teaching staff to embed this issue into school life in a structural and planned way.

After the basic component, the school can choose to work with one or more of the other components:

  1. Parent meeting(s)
    Organize a parent meeting on the theme 'setting boundaries when bringing up a child'.
  2. Set of lessons
    Training teachers of 9, 10 and 11 year olds how to introduce the set of lessons and instruct their classes. The manual also includes suggestions for lessons for younger pupils.
  3. Consultancy session on embedding and updating the protocol
    Assistance for schools in both the implementation and follow-up phases of SYSM, peer intervision and case studies (on themes that crop up frequently during team meetings).

Child abuse problem

119,000 children are the victims of child abuse in the Netherlands each year; that equals
1 or 2 pupils in an average class of 30 children at a primary school, and of these:
36% suffer emotional neglect
24% suffer physical neglect
4% suffer sexual abuse


Source: Second National Prevalence Study into Abuse of Children and Youths carried out by TNO (Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research)  


Rabobank Foundation

Office Address Croeselaan 18
3521 CB Utrecht
The Netherlands
Postal Address P.O. Box 17100, UC 079
3500 HG Utrecht
The Netherlands
Telephone +31 (0)30 216 2333

Safe You Safe Me