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Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours (PBs) provides a framework for personal safety, self-esteem, resilience and confidence building. It is an internal process where each person applies the ideas to their own unique experience including the following:

Protective Behaviours follow two key themes:

Theme 1:        We all have the right to feel safe all the time

We carefully look at the connection between rights and responsibilities. We also take the concepts of blame and punishment out of commonly held ideas associated with responsibilities.

Instead, we focus on the ‘ability to respond’ contained within the meaning of the word. The difference between having a responsibility for ourselves and to others is also examined. We explore feeling safe, the recognition of Early Warning Signs (EWS) and how feelings of safety are on a continuum. 

Theme 2:        We can talk with someone about anything even if it’s awful or small

This theme focuses on the ideas and effects of ‘talking’ and what might happen if we don’t. We encourage everyone to develop their own personal networks of support, those people they could turn to if in need. Desired qualities of network people are identified and we examine how we would know if someone has these qualities.

Unwritten Rules and Beliefs

Beliefs and Unwritten Rules both have a powerful influence on our choices of behaviour. Whilst beliefs and unwritten rules can be positive and help to guide our interactions, they can also be extremely confusing.

As a few examples, children are told to do as adults tell them, men should not show their feelings and women should behave in a ladylike manner. These rules aren’t written down, often contradict each other and don’t fit with our personal experiences.

At Daventry Hill School we look at their function, how they develop, their effects, whether they are helpful or not and how to change them if necessary.

Feelings, Thoughts and Behaviour

At Daventry Hill School we look at the interaction between our feelings, thoughts and behaviour. We see that feelings are feelings and there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Some people may mask one feeling with another or use behaviour as a way of avoiding or covering feelings.

We look at how behaviour is a choice with an effect, usually affecting others as well as ourselves. Sometimes we do not know what our choices are, or they may be limited by factors we cannot change.

There are seven key strategies which are used to implement these themes and elements:

  • Theme Reinforcement – reinforcing the two themes including verbally and visually 
  • Network Review – constantly checking to ensure our networks are available and still fit our needs
  • One Step Removed – using a ‘third person’ approach for problem solving, to seek assistance or to check out someone’s ideas before making a disclosure. This might include role-play, videos or asking for help for another person.
  • Protective Interruption – any action we take to interrupt or halt any potential or actual unsafe situation, for instance, saying ‘no’ when someone is encouraging us to do something we feel is wrong.
  • Persistence – persisting in seeking help until we feel safe again and our EWS have gone. This includes seeking further help if our EWS return.
  • Risking on Purpose – deliberately choosing to take a risk when the outcome may be what we want or need, for example, going for a job interview or asking for help. It also includes remembering our responsibilities towards others’ safety.
  • The Language of Safety – re-framing our language into an empowering, non-victimising and non-violent format which is consistent with the PBs process.