In 2015, Revved Up Kids set out to definitively answer three questions about its personal safety and self-defense classes for children. We wanted to know:
1. Does Revved Up Kids training change a child’s knowledge about who predators are?
Specifically, children are not always aware that predators can be people they know, even people who are very close to them. Many children believe a predator as a big, scary stranger who wears black and covers his face with mask. Young children also typically do not understand the concept of “stranger,” they just know it’s negative because their parents tell them not to talk to strangers or go with strangers. The goal of Revved Up Kids personal safety and self-defense training for children is to clarify these concepts with children, and to leave them with an understanding that predators can be strangers, people they know, adults, or bigger, older kids. The program evaluation was designed to determine whether or not our training accomplishes this goal.
1. Does Revved Up Kids training improve a child’s understanding of how to avoid unsafe situations?
Children don’t always know whether a situation is safe or unsafe; they rely heavily on the adults in their world to guide them. Most of the time, children are sexually abused by someone they know and trust, so it’s important they understand how to take steps to avoid situations that can make them an easier target. Revved Up Kids incorporates awareness training into its curriculum with a goal of helping children reduce their risk of being targeted. The program evaluation was designed to determine whether or not our training accomplishes this goal.
2. Does Revved Up Kids training increase a child’s confidence in escaping a predator and getting to safety?
Revved Up Kids training programs include a self-defense component. This component of the training helps children understand how to respond appropriately to a physical attack or an attempted kidnapping. Many children have a false sense of their strength, and believe they can effectively respond to an attacker based on techniques they see utilized on television. Revved Up Kids training is designed to help them respond in a more realistic fashion based on their size and physical abilities. Make no mistake, young children can be powerful in an attack situation if they know how to respond. We teach children which body parts are most vulnerable, and we teach them how to injure those body parts and escape the attacker. The program evaluation was designed to determine whether or not our training accomplishes this goal.
Revved Up Kids commissioned Dr. Matthew Lee Smith of MLS Health Services and The University Of Georgia School of Public Health to design and execute the program evaluation. His results proved with statistical significance that Revved Up Kids training is accomplishing its goals. The program evaluation participants had a significantly better knowledge about how to recognize a dangerous person, how to avoid an unsafe situation, and how to escape an attacker, and a statistically significant retention of this knowledge over time. Dr. Smith’s final evaluation report can be viewed at this link.