Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics

Family Birth Center

Teaching the Purple Hands Pledge® to families at the beginning of a child’s life provides a simple,
universal tool that applies to all cultures and nationalities.

We are so grateful for our partnership that reached over 3,100 families! 

English and Spanish materials provided Represent and Honor the majority of the Cultural Diversity in Marion County, Oregon. 

The Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® was awarded a grant from Trust Management Services, LLC in 2006 to implement the Purple Hands Pledge® in the Salem Hospital Family Birth Center.
Pictured above: Pete Teller, Counselor – Leslie Middle School;
Cynthia Crosby, RNC, BSN, LCCE, Family Education Director

New Mom’s Connection Support Group: Over 500 people reached

“The New Mom’s Support Group meets weekly. Now that the realities of parenting are setting in, this is a good time to reinforce, or in some cases, introduce this information. ”
Cynthia Crosby, RNC, BSN, LCCE, Family Education Director

Our Purple Hands Pledge® encourages parents & caregivers to model respectful behavior and raise their children in a safe and nurturing home environment.

Childbirth Educators Evaluations:

Overwhelmingly positive feedback about the simplicity of implementing the Purple Hands Pledge®
Our program complemented their existing curriculum
Provided all participants with a positive and proactive tool to use in their daily lives

Family Educators Findings:

Family educators expressed that the Purple Hands Pledge® is simple, positive, proactive, and directly addresses child abuse and family violence prevention.
Family educators supported all phases of this project and provided important feedback regarding their experiences
Most parents were eager and excited to learn about the Purple Hands Pledge® and share the Pledge with their families

Parents Findings:

Parents expressed a sincere appreciation for receiving tangible reminders as gifts for their family.
These items included: Purple Hands Bears, Magnets, Newborn Certificates & Family Pledge Letters.
Most parents were eager and excited to learn about the Purple Hands Pledge® and share the Pledge with their families
The Purple Hands Pledge® is a helpful parenting tool
Parents are confident in using the Purple Hands Pledge®
Parents will reinforce the Purple Hands Pledge® on a regular basis
Parents will display official Hands Project materials in their homes
Parents believe the Purple Hands Pledge® will help reduce teasing, name-calling, bullying, and other forms of verbal and physical abuse
Parents are likely to tell other adults and children about the Purple Hands Pledge®

“I could use the help to make my boys understand that violence isn’t a good thing.”

Parent Educator

“It’s good to talk about it frequently so that my children understand and practice it.”

Spanish Speaking Parent

“It will help us to reduce words or actions to others that are harmful by being reminded and looking at it daily.”

Spanish Speaking Parent

“Great awareness tool!”  “Me & my wife took the Pledge!”


“Good discussion starter for relational problem-solving training.”

Parent Educator, Big Brother/Big Sister Class

“The magnet!  The children’s hands might be displayed for several months on the refrigerator.” 

Parent Educator, Big Brother/Big Sister Class

“Having the materials also available in Spanish has been very helpful.”

Cynthia Crosby, RNC, BSN, LCCE, Family Education Director

This is a critical time to reinforce information taught about caring and respect and for new mothers to learn tools that help prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome, abuse, and violence in the home.”

Cynthia Crosby, RNC, BSN, LCCE, Family Education Director
How Did They Do It?

Family Educators Implemented the Purple Hands Pledge® in the following Salem Hospital Birth Center Programs: 

     Child Birth Classes
     Family Education Classes
     Child Birth Refresher Classes – Close to 1300 people reached
♥     Big Brother Big Sister Sibling Preparation Classes – 215 kids reached
     Home Visits – 500 women & families at high risk for abuse/violence
        Purple Pledge Bears were given primarily during home visits.

“The Maternity Case Manager (MCM) nurses really appreciate having something colorful and cute, like the purple teddy bears, to be able to leave with the older siblings.  It helps the teaching moments to be more productive with mom, and pulls in the older siblings with the message about the Purple Hands Pledge®.”
–Cynthia Crosby, RNC, BSN, LCCE, Family Education Director

♥     New Mom’s Connection Support Group – 500+ people reached
♥     Spanish Child Birth Class – Almost 100 people reached
♥     Salud Health Fair– Over 500 participants

During the Salud Health Fair, Purple Pledge Bears were given to children as prizes for a bean bag toss.  Junior Volunteers helped these children learn more about the Purple Hands Pledge® and complete a Family Pledge Certificate. 

To introduce the Purple Hands Pledge® the family educators created a poster board presentation that was displayed at each of the above class series. The board consisted of traced and signed Purple Hand Pledges of the family educators.  This tool served as a critical aid in teaching the importance of having a constant visual reminder for families’ commitment to stop and think before saying or doing anything hurtful to themselves or others. The purpose of tracing their hands and reciting the Pledge is to demonstrate and reinforce positive action helping parents model healthy relationships for each other and for their children.

This endeavor encompassed all of the elements necessary to create a long-term partnership with Hospitals & Birthing Centers and the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project®.  This approach to community-wide education is a model that can be promoted to Hospitals and Birthing Centers everywhere.

This model illustrates that Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® can be easily incorporated into existing programs. It is vital that we continue to create community partnerships that foster sustainability of the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® that enables educators to provide cost-effective and quality resources.  Our hope of a world without abuse/violence depends upon the “Power of One” to bring communities together in an effort that understands the need to educate the meaning of
respect and equality in all relationships.

Safe Homes Safe Schools Safe Communities
“Home Is Where Our Life Story Begins” – Anonymous