Salem Hospital Family Birth Center

The Hands & Words Project was awarded a grant from Trust Management Services, LLC in 2006 to implement the Hands & Words Project in the Salem Hospital Family Birth Center. This partnership reached over 3,100 families from June 2006 to December 2007. Our message encourages parents to model respectful behavior and to raise their children in a safe and nurturing home environment.

At our evaluation meeting in December 2007 with the childbirth educators provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about the simplicity of implementing the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project®. They found our program complemented their existing curriculum and provided all participants with a positive and proactive tool to use in their daily lives. Comments from parents included a sincere appreciation for receiving tangible gifts for their family (Purple Pledge Bears, Magnets, Pledge Certificates, etc.).

Family educators were supportive during all phases of this project and provided important feedback regarding their experiences. They expressed that the Hands Project is simple, positive, proactive, and a direct approach to address child abuse and family violence prevention. They found that most parents were eager and excited to learn about the Hands Project and share the Pledge with their families and survey results reflect this as well.

This project encompassed all of the elements necessary to create a long-term partnership with Salem Hospital and the Hands Project. This approach to community-wide education has become a model that will be promoted to hospitals and birthing centers nationally so that the Hands Project can be easily incorporated into their existing programs. It is vital that we continue to create community partnerships that foster sustainability of the Hands Project and enable 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.

Respect: to value, appreciate, care for and protect
Equality: having the same value as another.