The Young Adult's Guide to Sexual Assault Awareness and Personal Safety

 Are you concerned about the sexual safety of the teens and young adults in your life? If so, you're not alone. 

Today's social and digital landscapes can be dangerous (and scary!) for young people to navigate without the right knowledge, tools, and skills to help keep themselves safe. 

Written to and for young people, Be Strong, Be Wise provides the research-based information young men, women, and non-binary youth need to lower the risk of sexual assault and increase confidence in relationships.


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by Amy Carpenter, LCSW, CYI

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In this book, young people will learn to:

  • Understand sex + relationships apart from the media 
  • Communicate personal boundaries, avoid victim-blaming + explore the deeper meaning of consent 
  • Enjoy the party scene in ways that prevent risk of assault 
  • Identify + respond to cyber harassment 
  • Integrate the 5 safety “tools” that develop self-knowledge + inner wisdom
  • Respond to homophobia, transphobia + sexism 
  • Improve the ability to listen to their red flag signals 
  • Use a comprehensive approach to bystander intervention 
  • Appropriately assist a friend who has been assaulted 
  • Cultivate the personal + group awareness that supports healthy independence 
                               ... and so much more.
“As a psychologist and mother of two teenage boys about to leave for college, Be Strong, Be Wise is an invaluable resource to help young women and men navigate the complexities of social and sexual situations in order to prevent and protect themselves from unwanted sexual assault. It is written in clear, straight-forward language that interweaves real life vignettes, statistical data, concrete strategies, thought-provoking questions, practical guidance, and vital resources that make this book a must read. It will absolutely better anyone, young or old, in knowing how to keep themselves safe.” 
Dr. Nina Silberman
Psychologist and Parent

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Hi, I'm Amy Carpenter.

I’ve been a psychotherapist and relationship coach for twenty-five years, but think of myself first and foremost as a youth advocate. When I worked as a counselor in various high schools, I noticed that sexual assault is still a taboo subject, though it affects the lives of teenagers more than ever before. In my role as a psychotherapist treating trauma, I learned that families struggle as much as schools do to approach the subject of sexual assault prevention in a way that isn’t fear-based.

This is why Be Strong, Be Wise teaches risk reduction to boys, girls and non-binary youth in a format that allows them to feel informed, not afraid. The 5-step curriculum is based on my work with high schools and colleges and organizations such as Mainely Girls and Girls Inc., plus it includes wisdom gained from my own life as a parent and survivor. 

I’ve always believed self-awareness builds empowerment. Never is this more important than in the arena of sexual safety. My book supports young people in separating themselves from the influence of sex in the media by offering the opportunity to develop their own set of ethics. Every young person deserves to learn how to create healthy partnerships and avoid toxic ones. Be Strong, Be Wise incorporates the safety “tools" that allow young people to stay safe while still enjoying the fun and freedom of independence.

Mary Carlson Wanjiru
College Student and Blogger

 “Be Strong, Be Wise has given me a type of third eye I never knew existed. I am more aware than I’ve ever been of my own being, my surroundings, and my safety. The set of “tools” that Amy Carpenter lays out for her readers have helped me to improve my own confidence and remind me that I can be a strong woman in a man’s world. As a college student and aspiring writer, I found this book inspiring, beautifully written, and thoughtfully presented to young adults of any gender. Now that I’ve read this book, I feel more equipped than ever to tackle this world without doubting my worth, power, and ability to say “no.” It also gives me hope for the next generation of students who will get to use these tools and, hopefully, create a new era of equality.”

Amy A.
College Instructor and Parent

 “As a college instructor, I interact with young people every day who are hungry to discuss the complexities of sexual assault, yet don't know where to begin. Be Strong, Be Wise opens the door to practical and inspiring conversation about sex, friendship, crossing the line, and how to advocate for yourself and your friends. Every young person should read this book before setting foot on a college campus.”

Sarah Martin
Camden Hills Regional High School

“The Be Strong, Be Wise program was really amazing. Amy makes you feel comfortable in your own skin while sharing your experiences with others. Not only does Amy make you feel comfortable but I found that the students in this class were very open to hearing and accepting her words. This surprised me because I haven’t ever felt this comfortable in a class before. I think the Be Strong, Be Wise program encouraged us to go deeper than just what is the definition of sexual assault or harassment. Before the program I thought I was pretty well-educated on the topic, however, after going through this course I learned so much more than I ever thought I could.

I can only find positive things to say about this program because a) this is a topic that is NOT talked about enough b) especially as young women but also as young men we need to find our voices and learn as much as we possibly can about this because sexual assault and harassment happens way too often, especially in the world outside of high school and c) I think it is important in general to have a safe space to talk about this in a classroom because many people do not have this at home. This is a very important topic and Camden Hills needs something like this in their curriculum! Thank you so much Amy!!!”

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