The Darien YMCA is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 22-26, 2019. Leading up to Healthy Kids Day on April 27 — a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids–Five Days of Action focuses on preventing child sexual abuse by sharing tips on how adults can prevent child sexual abuse.
During April and all year long, the Darien YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making Darien a safer place for children. This year’s Five Days of Action theme is “Know. See. Respond.” When adults know how abuse happens, see the warning signs, and respond quickly to prevent abuse, they foster a culture of child abuse prevention. Together, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and have important conversations around how we can all work together to prevent it from happening.
“Protecting children from sexual abuse must be the number one goal of every person who cares about the health and well-being of kids,” said Suzanne Richards, Director of Youth Development and Special Needs Programs. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and encourage adults to make it happen in our community. It takes all of us.”
To assert the community’s commitment to the prevention of childhood sexual abuse, the Darien YMCA is asking adult community members to sign a pledge against sexual abuse of children at their location at 2420 Post Road in Darien from April 22 through April 27. Pledges will be posted inside the lobby.
The Darien YMCA and the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, with support from YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation, and Praesidium have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.
For more information about preventing child sexual abuse visit www.fivedaysofaction.org.
Materials are derived from YMCA of the USA’s “Know. See. Respond.” copyrighted in 2019.
Statistics provided by Darkness to Light:
• One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
• 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
• Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
• 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.
• False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.
What to do if abuse is suspected, provided by Darkness to Light:
• You do not need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child or adult, or both. Or, you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them.
• Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or state child protective services.
• Contact the Darkness to Light Helpline at 866-FOR-LIGHT or text LIGHT to 741741 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.
About Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse through awareness, education, and stigma reduction. Darkness to Light’s flagship program, Stewards of Children®, is an evidence-informed, award-winning training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. More than 1.7 million adults have been trained using Darkness to Light trainings. For more information, visit www.D2L.org.