Step Up and Speak Out to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

 

April 9, 2018 – The Summit Area YMCA is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 16-20, 2018. Leading up to Healthy Kids Day®--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 step up and speak out to prevent child sexual abuse.


During April and all year long, the Summit Area YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making our community a safer place for children. By encouraging adults to step up and speak out, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and foster 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 Joyce Klimaski, Executive Director of The Learning Circle YMCA, a branch of the Summit Area YMCA that is primarily focused on Childcare and Early Education programming. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and speak out to encourage adults to make it happen in our community. It takes all of us.”


The Summit YMCA, The Learning Circle YMCA as well as The Berkeley Heights YMCA encourage the community to visit their branches to sign sheets of “Commitments to Protecting Children” to spread awareness and learn more about how to prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Staff, members and community members can sign and take pictures of their pledges to share on social media as well as commit to five days of small actions to make sizable impacts on their community. The Summit Area YMCA also has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring the Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training to our communities. The 2-hour free training session is designed ot educate adults on how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse, emphasizing child safety and prevention as every adult’s responsibility.

 

UPCOMING STEWARDS OF CHILDREN CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PREVENTION TRAININGS:
Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 4:00PM-6:00PM | 490 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
Monday, June 11, 2018 | 6:30PM-8:30PM | 490 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
Thursday, November 15, 2018 | 1:00PM-3:00PM | 95 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901


The Summit Area 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.

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE 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 YOU BELIEVE A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED - 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 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.


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About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.


About Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. Through education and awareness, the organization seeks to create a safer world for children to grow and thrive. Darkness to Light’s flagship program, Stewards of Children®, is a one-of-a-kind, award-winning training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. More than 1.4 million adults have been trained using the program. For more information, visit www.D2L.org.

About Redwoods Group Foundation
The Redwoods Group Foundation supports programs that can change the world and helps them reach more people than ever before, through funding and backbone support. We currently focus on child sexual abuse prevention, drowning prevention, and growing the field of social entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.redwoodsgroup.com/about-us/redwoods-group-foundation.

About Praesidium
Praesidium specializes in preventing sexual abuse in organizations that serve youth and vulnerable adults. Over a period in excess of 25 years, the company has reviewed over 4,000 cases of abuse within organizations to determine the root causes of sexual abuse within organizational settings. Praesidium employs more than 40 staff, including licensed social workers, lawyers, psychologists, health care researchers, and other experts. The company has served over 5,000 clients with a broad range of products and services to aid organizations in preventing abuse, including online and instructor‐led trainings; organizational risk assessments; model policies and incident investigations. Having trained more than one million people online and hundreds of thousands in person, Praesidium is the largest and most comprehensive sexual abuse risk management firm globally.

To learn more about Darkness 2 Light or to take a training on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, please visit www.theSAY.org/D2L