We've officially reached 10,000 kids through ROAR, our child abuse prevention program launched in 2017.
ROAR teaches children ages four to eight body safety and empowerment through a simple acronym: Remember privates are private. Okay to say no. Always tell secrets. Raise your voice and tell someone. A cartoon lion named Rex takes children on an exciting journey using real life scenarios.
“In Oklahoma, we know that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused before their eighteenth birthday,” said CARE Center CEO Stacy McNeiland. “We created ROAR because those statistics are unacceptable. We have to stop the cycle of abuse and violence, and that begins with teaching children what is and is not acceptable and giving them the tools they need to speak up if they are being abused.”
The ROAR program is taught in schools, foster care agencies, daycare centers, and other youth-serving organizations and is free to Oklahoma City Metro organizations. The program has been endorsed by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. McNeiland said the CARE Center’s goal is to extend services to even more kids in 2019, but the current challenge is that program demand exceeds staff capacity.
Does your child know how to ROAR?
“Our goal at The CARE Center is to stop child abuse,” McNeiland said. “We’d love to put ourselves out of business. When we looked at prevention services, we didn’t find anything geared toward younger children, and We created ROAR to address what we felt was a missing piece of the puzzle in fighting child abuse.”
“Children have disclosed abuse after learning the Rules of ROARing.” Shelby Lynch, CARE Center Education Manager said. “We actually just had a counselor let us know a student disclosed to her mom when they were going over their ROAR parent guide at home together after I’d been to her school that day.”
“Our hope is that kids who hear ROAR are more likely to report abuse to a trusted adult or even prevent it from happening altogether” McNeiland said. “If abuse is reported, we work with our partners in law enforcement and DHS to investigate the case further and provide services for the child and family. We’re proud of that work, but we’d far prefer to stop the abuse before it starts. ROAR does that – one school, one classroom, one child at a time.”