Devon Child Assault Prevention Project is a school based charity that works with the whole school community towards reducing children's vulnerability to abuse. CAP equips children with skills and strategies necessary to stay safe from harm and helps towards encouraging them to grow up to be strong and confident young people.

Research shows that at least one in ten children suffer some form of abuse during their childhood. The Report of the National Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse in1996, found that at least a million children are harmed every year. Most survivors of childhood abuse did not tell anyone at the time and those who did were often not believed or helped.

Devon CAP has been running since 1995, reaching thousands of children with our important messages. During the week, or weeks, that our team of trained facilitators works in a school we look at children's rights to be 'Safe, Strong and Free' and use role-play, discussion and puppets to explore three potential assault situations:

  • a bullying scenario (including cyber bullying),
  • an approach from a stranger (internet safety) and
  • an inappropriate approach from a known adult.

The CAP project tackle these issues in a very fun and empowering way focusing on what a child can do rather than what they can't. The workshops are very enjoyable and light hearted and centred on empowering children.

An important part of CAP's work is a whole community approach. We run a parent's workshop before we come in to work with the children where we explore the concerns that parents have for their children's safety, some of the myths they may hold around how abuse happens and share ideas with each other on how to approach this sensitive area with our children. CAP also works with the schools staff prior to the children's workshops in order to make sure that everyone is confident around child protection issues.

The CAP project has been established for 18 years in the South West, operating a rolling programme with schools. Do look at our website for more information- www.devoncap.org.uk and a short film showcasing our workshops.