A brand new app which uses comic-book style drawings to help keep kids safe has debuted on the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. The S.A.F.E Squad combines original, interesting comic stories with fun apps which are designed to educate children on different forms of abuse and help keep them safe as a result.
The S.A.F.E Squad is the brainchild of Amrita Atwal who suffered abuse as a child. She channelled her experiences into a series of educational comics to help youngsters in a similar situation and wants to extend that outreach with the launch of a dedicated, accessible and engaging app designed just for kids. She said, “When I was a young girl my parents always told me, ‘Don’t talk to strangers and don’t take sweets from strangers,’ and they always informed me of what was bad and what was good. But when one of my parent’s friends was sexually abusing me I didn’t know what was happening. It wasn’t until 27 years later that I came to terms with what had happened.
“This person was someone I trusted and my parents trusted; therefore it was very confusing for me. I never felt scared but knew I shouldn’t tell my parents. I didn’t know that what was happening to me was bad. Children are easily manipulated and they easily trust those around them whether they are strangers, family members, or friends of the family. The comics and app are here to help children visually see the behaviours, speech, and body language of potential abusers so if they are ever faced with it they will remember and recognize a potential threat.
“Often when children are abused they don’t fully understand what is happening or if they should tell their parents or another trusted adult – we aim to change that by giving children the information and confidence they need to fight abuse and seek help when they need it. We’ve created a comic-style book that is engaging and helps children feel like they’re part of a group that they can rely on for advice. The books are written in a simple format with graphics that are easy for children to follow.”
The Safe S.Q.U.A.D concept already includes one book with 2 comic stories depicting emotional and sexual abuse. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, this range will be expanded to include other dangers and abuses children may face and accompanied by an app. Pledges from the Kickstarter campaign will help to finance development for an expected launch later this Spring.
The Safe S.Q.U.A.D crowdfunding campaign has set a £25,000 target. To find out more and make a pledge visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1799488799/the-safe-squad