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Saying STOP: A Lesson from a TAPS Graduation

Published by TJ Scalese on

Graduating means you have gained a certain level of understanding and proficiency in a particular subject or field. Graduates from the Triangle Abuse Prevention & Safety (TAPS) program are no different. The main goal of TAPS is to deepen and expand the knowledge of abuse prevention, healthy relationships, and personal safety for both youth and adults with disabilities. A recent cohort to go through this program were participants from Triangle’s day program in Malden.

TAPS is facilitated by Michael Perry and Adriana Li, who have decades of combined experience in providing a hands-on, educational approach that engages participants in various role playing scenarios that equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate uncomfortable and potentially unsafe situations. Participants in the program are guided through a variety of replicated common experiences in the workplace, boundaries with friends, and unsafe interactions with strangers. Practicing the appropriate and effective reactions empower students to live healthy and safe personal and professional lives as they work towards their goals and become fully engaged members of their community.

This program emphasizes the importance of effective reaction and self-protection. One graduate of the program said that they know not all situations are bad, but through this program, they “learned how to assess situations to figure out whether they are safe.” Other participants reported learning techniques to stay calm, assert themselves, and how to advocate for themselves confidently. The most common lesson shared across the board was the significance of displaying boundaries by simply saying ”stop.”

Learning how to say ”stop” and knowing that you have control over your body are important lessons in the program. Facilitators Adriana and Michael stress the importance of vocalization and asserting personal boundaries. They tailor their approach to meet each participant’s needs, ensuring everyone emerges from the program with enhanced skills and confidence in safeguarding themselves against potential harm.

Every one of the participants from this cohort have a higher level of understanding and proficiency when it comes to protecting themselves. They are now better equipped for potentially harmful situations in the future, and we congratulate them on their graduation from the Triangle Abuse Prevention and Safety program.

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