Teaching to empower children and keep them safe!
EDUCATE2EMPOWER Publishing is a Melbourne-based company, producing books and resources to empower children and help keep them safe.
Educate2empower’s co-founder Jayneen Sanders is an experienced author, publisher, primary school teacher, mother of three and an active advocate for body safety, gender equality and respectful relationship education being taught in homes and in schools.
Jayneen is lead author of Engage Literacy for Capstone Classroom, and has had over 120 stories published for children in this series.
Her time spent in primary schools both as a teacher and a parent inspired her to ask the question of her community: ‘What are we doing in schools to empower children and protect them from inappropriate touch?’
When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to use her authoring and publishing skills to write resources to help parents, caregivers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.
Jayneen feels passionately that we can do so much more to keep our children safe by teaching them age-appropriate and empowering prevention education.
Statistics show that approximately 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 12 boys will be sexually abused before they reach 18 years of age, and 95 per cent will know the abuser.
In her preparation for writing the book ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’, and reaffirmed through responses to the published book, she heard one particular theme repeated from survivors of sexual child abuse, ‘If only I had known from that first inappropriate touch it was wrong, my life would be so different.’
Jayneen soon learnt that while prevention education is empowering, after a child has been abused it is far more complex—so the earlier that children could receive and understand prevention education, the less likely they would be to experience long-term trauma.
The process of getting this important book out into the public was not easy. Just as she had met reservation from her local school council over teaching body safety, Jayneen also had a challenge securing a publisher for the book.
Such a challenge, in fact, that she and her husband Mark decided to pool their knowledge from working in the publishing industry to publish the book themselves... and so Educate2empower Publishing was established.
Jayneen is quietly proud of the success of ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’. It has allowed teachers and parents a safe segue into Body Safety conversations that need to be had with children.
“Sadly many parents don’t even broach this subject with their kids because they honestly believe it will never happen to their child,” she said.
“Secrets are the currency the perpetrator deals in and they will do all they can to ensure the secret is kept.”
“We need to educate our children to tell, from that first inappropriate touch, and we also need to educate our community to believe children.”
Educate2empower Publishing was initially established to get ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ out into the community, however Jayneen could see that still more needed to be done in this space to empower children.
‘My Body! What I Say Goes!’ has reached best-seller status for Children’s Safety Books on Amazon several times since its release in 2016, and as well as writing a number of other children’s books (covering the topics of body safety, respect, consent and gender equality), Jayneen has also created posters, worksheets, teaching notes and lesson plans and has put together a Teacher’s Resource Kit for Body Safety and Respectful Relationships Education.
Recognising that empowering children and protecting them from abuse could also be enhanced through early education of gender equality and encouraging social and emotional intelligence, Jayneen has started writing books in these spaces too.
As well as addressing child abuse prevention, the collection of books may also help to counter domestic violence, bullying, racism, discrimination, and mental health issues - all very relevant within our current communities.
Educate2empower Publishing now offers specific book bundles to teach Body Safety & Consent, Gender Equality, or Social & Emotional Intelligence, as well as an overall bundle for Empowerment.
The empowerment and safety of children is what drives Jayneen to continue to work diligently in this space.
She would love to see ALL schools in Australia (and around the world) introduce Body Safety Education as part of their curriculum.
“The act of sexual abuse is never mentioned. PLEASE don’t fear this topic,” Jayneen said.
“We are talking to children. The education provided can be age-appropriate and empowering. There is actually no downside to teaching Body Safety.”
Jayneen Sanders is a passionate advocate for respectful relationship education.