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Case Study

Dr Deborah Fry is a Lecturer in Child Protection at the University of Edinburgh where she leads a research team on Preventing Violence in Childhood and also co-leads the Safe Inclusive Schools Network.

Taboobreaker is keen to emphasise how important it has been to have Dr Fry guiding them whilst they develop the programme. By combining the best of experience and practice during the development phase, the consultancy has improved programme design so that children can practise their learning in real-world setting, and receive teaching on protective life skills. This holistic approach includes a classroom activity box, tutorial website for teachers and a game to teach children about personal space, emotions and seeking help.

The Project

Dr Fry recently completed a consultancy funded by UBS Optimus Foundation to improve the effectiveness of a child protection programme with taboobreaker, an association based in Zurich which aims to prevent sexual abuse of children through play, developed and tested through workshops with childre


The consultancy partnership between University of Edinburgh and Taboobreaker meant that the programme designers were able to draw on scientific evidence to make the most effective programme design. Dr Fry’s work helped to draw a link between established thinking and research on how to build programmes to prevent sexual abuse of children by developing and testing both virtual and classroom activities to build skills among young people.


“Our association has definitely benefitted from the evaluation, it’s been like having a pair of shoes, left shoe is science and the right shoe is practice. You measure and get data, see the data doesn’t match with the idea, and so you adapt again and again to improve the programme.”

Karin Stierling, Founder of Taboobreaker Association 

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