As March comes to a close and we are already well into 2016, I want to know, have you used any of my stellar advice and stayed safe (please say yes?!)?
Also, as we finish up into this month, you may be aware that March brought along with it things like March Madness (my favorite team is Indiana University, the Hoosiers always rock the hardwood, alright who am I kidding I know nothing about sports – they didn’t even make it to the Sweet 16) the Ides of March (E tu, Safety Stu?) and most importantly the celebration of Developmental Disability Awareness Month – a cause near and dear to my heart, and all of us here at Get Safe. My passion to educate and empower persons with disabilities has been a part of my life for a long time, and Get Safe has been focusing on this amazing, but at times, vulnerable population for more than 25 years.
One day – waaaaay back – I was asked to do a training for a group of individuals with developmental disabilities. That day changed my life, the trajectory of the way Get Safe looked at our future and subsequently the entire mission of our agency.
After completing our first training with these remarkable people, I immediately realized that these beautiful men and women were so sweet and amazingly trusting. Unfortunately, they are one of the most vulnerable groups in our population.
DID YOU KNOW…?*
o 90% of persons with disabilities are currently, or have been, a victim of sexual or physical crime?
o 1 in 6 children born today has a developmental disability
o Victimization of this population occurs 4-10 times more frequently than other citizens
o Many of these children do not have the support or education to resist or seek alternatives to abusive situations
With all these factors at play, we at Get Safe decided that a perfect opportunity was awaiting us to help those in need within this high risk population. With that, our mission expanded to educate those with developmental disabilities so that we could teach them how to live a safer life style and that their voice mattered.
What we found, as we were delving into this sensitive and poorly served community, was that there were lots of judgments being passed down. Not only were there preconceived notions about who and what these individuals stood for, but they were also judged harshly because of their perceived inability to process information as efficiently as others, thus their rights and freedoms were affected. Along with that, we found that there were also many in the community service industry (police officers, teachers, firemen, retail, community agencies, etc.) that didn’t fully understand the scope of those who may suffer a disability. Whether the disability was severe or mild, those in service also needed to know the parameters within which to serve this population, as well, so many “invisible disabilities” (such as mild forms of Autism) are difficult to pinpoint and it’s important to learn the signs to recognize before casting a judgement.
Since we acknowledged the need for help in this area, Get Safe has grown into an industry leader in educating persons with developmental disabilities, as well those who may have contact with a person with a developmental disability. Our experienced staff has countless hours of training in educating those who need it most.
Currently, we have outstanding training programs in the following areas for those with developmental disabilities:
o PERSONAL SAFETY TRAINING – Preparation for those unwelcome social and personal situations.
o HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS – This group training offers skills needed to create healthy relationships and safe sexual attitudes.
o CONSUMER ADVOCACY TRAINING – This training is a specialized one-on-one approach to personal safety for those having: Experienced victimization, perpetrated crime, or demonstrated “at-risk” behaviors.
o FUNCTIONAL LEGAL COMPETENCY TRAINING – For consumers involved as criminal defendants in judicial systems, who require and/or have been court ordered to undergo competency training.
We here at Get Safe are dedicated to educating people – all people – to be in healthy and safe relationships. It is my strong belief that if we continue creating awareness through educational experiences (such as our Get Safe trainings – yes, a shameless plug), we can break down barriers to those more vulnerable than we, and with that, our communities can be transformed into a more accepting, healthier and safer place.
As always, thanks again for tuning in, and remember you can always learn more about these programs – along with all of our other trainings and classes – by going to our website www.getsafeusa.com. There, you will find more detailed information about each program and how to set up a training for you, a loved one in need or a group in your community.
Additionally, for more safety tips, pick up a safety book from your one and only Safety Stu (yes, that’s me!) on our website www.getsafeusa.com or on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Freedom-Stronger-Safer/dp/0981712789 – Gift of Freedom, a Stronger Safer You…and in the future, we will talk more about great and simple tips to stay safe in any situation. Until then, stay tuned, because my hope is always that you, your family and your friends Get Safe – Be Safe – Stay Safe.
Stuart Haskin, or Safety Stu as he is known to his thousands (uh, let’s say tens) of admiring followers, is a leading expert in personal safety issues with a black belt in four different martial arts. For the past 30 years, Stuart has been teaching police officers, military personnel, teachers, students, and all people how to use the SAFE technique (Scan Assess Forecast Execute) to expand personal freedoms in all areas of life. #getsafeusa, #safetystu, #safety, #safetyfirst
(*Resources: Centers for Disease Control, California State Council on Developmental Disabilities