About Protective Behaviours

An Overview of the Protective Behaviours Process

Protective Behaviours (PBs) is a practical, empowering approach to personal safety.  It is a process that encourages and develops self-confidence alongside skills that help us avoid being victimised.  This is achieved by recognising our personal concept of safety, trusting our intuitive feelings (early warning signs) that tell us when we are feeling unsafe and developing strategies for self-protection.  The Protective Behaviours process links safety with fun and excitement and an adventurous approach to life.

Protective Behaviours is based on two themes and seven strategies

  • Theme One ‘We all have the right to feel safe all the time’ incorporates the concepts of ‘Rights and Responsibilities’, ‘Safety’ and ‘Early Warning Signs’.
  • Theme Two (original) ‘There is nothing so awful, or too small, we can’t talk about it with someone’ develops the concept of personal ‘Networks’ of support.
    Theme Two (revised) ‘We can talk with someone about anything – even if it’s awful or small’ also develops the concept of networks but is a simpler sentence and suggests a positive ‘We can talk’ message about networking, consistent with the PB process.

The seven ‘Strategies’ of Protective Behaviours are intended to enable us to take necessary action to feel safe again.  They are designed to reinforce the two themes of Protective Behaviours, use one-step-removed approaches in our search for solutions, review our personal networks to ensure they are reliable, use persistence in taking necessary action to feel safe again, risk on purpose as needed and protectively interrupt in unsafe or potentially unsafe situations and observe the language of safety for ourselves and with others.

The Language of Safety, the seventh strategy in the PBs process, has been described as the glue that holds the PB process together.  It encourages us to be mindful of the ‘Quality’ of the language we use, to seek to establish ‘Shared Meaning’, take ‘Ownership’ of our language and maintain ‘Clarity’ in our verbal and non-verbal communication.

In this way the PBs process can increase our self-confidence and empower us to enhance our own thinking and problem solving skills.  In turn this can increase our ability to take protective action on our own behalf, and seek the support of others when needed, to help us feel safe again.  When we are feeling safe we are more likely to feel confident, strong and empowered, engage in adventures and live life to the full within a framework of safety.

(with acknowledgement to Penny Basset – ‘PBs in Five Minutes’)