New Comic Book Helps Teens and Adults with Disabilities Stop Abuse, Bullying and Violence

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Comics make personal safety skills accessible and fun to learn for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities or limited literacy and language skills. Kidpower, a nonprofit leader safety skills education has released the Fullpower Safety Comics, the latest book in its Kidpower Safety Comics series by Irene van der Zande.

New Fullpower Safety Comics for Teens and Adults. Available now on or

The entertaining illustrations, social stories, and step-by step descriptions of practices are a huge help for developing personal safety strategies and skills.

The Fullpower Safety Comics book helps people with disabilities learn to protect themselves from abuse, bullying and violence. The book is the latest in the Safety Comics series from, a nonprofit leader in personal safety and confidence building education and services. The newest Safety Comics book makes learning personal safety skills accessible and fun for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities or limited literacy skills.

“We have found that comics engage people of all ages and abilities, by being both entertaining and giving important information,” says author Irene van der Zande, executive director and founder of Kidpower. “The Fullpower Safety Comics helps teens and adults, including those with limited reading or spoken language abilities, learn and practice physical and social skills to help keep them safe from bullying, abuse and other violence.”

The U.S. Department of Justice's most recent studies on Crimes Against People with Disabilities show that teens and adults with a disability experienced violence and abuse at close to twice the rate of those without a disability in 2010. The study also notes that people “with a cognitive disability had the highest rate of violent victimization.”

Educators and therapists use the Fullpower Safety Comics to teach students and patients how to build personal safety awareness and skills. "Many of my clients are teens and adults with developmental disabilities who have already experienced bullying, abuse, or other violence,” says John Luna Sparks, a licensed clinical social worker in Oakland, CA. “I use the Fullpower Safety Comics even with those who can only read just a little. The entertaining illustrations, social stories, and step-by step descriptions of practices are a huge help for them in developing personal safety strategies and skills."

This comic book release makes the full series of Safety Comics from Kidpower available on Amazon.

The Kidpower Safety Comics books, by van der Zande and illustrator Amanda Golert, were initially created to make Kidpower stranger safety and boundary setting skills more accessible for parents to share with young children who weren’t yet reading. The second book was developed for working with older children to address more bullying and peer pressure situations “by popular demand,” says van der Zande.

During a training with special education teachers for teens and young adults a couple years ago, van der Zande showed the staff the Kidpower Safety Comics books. “Even though the age group was wrong, the teachers literally pulled the books out of my hands, saying, ‘These will do for now, but please write a comic book for our teen and adult students and their situations.’"  

The Fullpower Safety Comics book "addresses personal safety situations relevant to teens and adults with simple explanations and drawings to make it useful for teaching people with limited English literacy skills or intellectual disabilities to take charge of their emotional and physical safety," says van der Zande. She points out that the comic format is one of her favorite ways to develop safety curriculum, “for both efficacy and fun.”

"I personally love the comics in the paper — it's the first page I turn to to help me face the rest of the news of the day,” says van der Zande. “Even though the Fullpower Safety Comics was first written for teens and young adults with learning and developmental disabilities, I’ve found the college interns in our office reading it for themselves and even several elder adults have told me they learned something useful and enjoyed the comics."

About Irene van der Zande and Kidpower
Irene van der Zande has been featured as a personal safety expert by USA Today, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal and is the author of the Relationship Safety Skills: Domestic, Dating and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Handbook, the Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Kidpower Safety Comic Series, which many families and schools use in their child abuse and violence prevention training programs. She is also the founder and executive director of Kidpower, a non-profit leader in personal safety and confidence-building skills education, whose programs are highly recommended by experts worldwide for taking a positive, skills-based approach to preventing abuse, kidnapping, bullying and other violence. Kidpower workshops, K-12 safety curriculum, books, videos and other services have helped to protect more than 2 million people from abuse, bullying and other violence since 1989.

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Beth McGreevy
Malachite Strategies LLC
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