The Summit Area YMCA (SAY) is dedicated to protecting children by taking part in the Five Days of Action campaign, which aims to raise awareness and empower individuals to prevent child sexual abuse. The campaign will take place from April 24-28, 2023, as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
As summer draws near and children participate in camps and activities, now is the perfect time to unite as a community to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. During the Five Days of Action, the SAY will focus on three crucial steps for prevention: KNOW, SEE, and RESPOND. These steps will help adults protect children more effectively. This year's campaign emphasizes the importance of preventing child sexual abuse in summer camps, youth sports, and internet safety.
Being knowledgeable about child sexual abuse helps adults recognize the signs and take preventive measures. As parents, caregivers, and trusted adults in children's lives, it is our responsibility to protect them from abuse. This involves continually learning and asking questions about our loved ones' safety. The SAY and other youth-serving organizations implement measures to keep children safe. When enrolling your child in a new program, ask about their child protection practices. Use this list for reference this summer.
Act quickly if you SEE boundaries being crossed or suspect a child is being abused. Sports should be safe environments for children to develop both personally and athletically. Parents, caregivers, coaches, and volunteers must ensure that any setting involving children is free from abuse. Learn more about the signs and how you can help prevent child sexual abuse in youth sports at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/parents/
Did you know that you only need reasonable suspicion, not evidence, to report abuse? However, reporting abuse can be difficult even for adults. It's important to RESPOND to any disclosure, discovery, or suspicion of child sexual abuse. As both adults and children increasingly rely on digital tools for school, work, and socializing, online safety has become crucial. Keep an open line of communication with children who access online content, as this can help prevent sexual abuse. Learn about the facts, how to keep kids safe, and how to respond to online victimization at https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz.
Adults who know how abuse happens, see the warning signs, and respond promptly to prevent abuse contribute to a culture of child abuse prevention. Together, we can raise awareness of child sexual abuse in our communities and discuss how to prevent it.
Learn more about SAY's child abuse awareness and prevention resources and trainings at www.thesay.org/child-sexual-abuse-prevention.
In partnership with Darkness to Light, the SAY is committed to promoting child abuse awareness and prevention in the Summit community. We provide a secure environment for everyone, prioritizing the safety and well-being of the children in our care. Our efforts include training sessions, community resources, and workshops to educate adults on recognizing, preventing, and responding responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Darkness to Light: Child Abuse Prevention Training
Date: Tuesday, April 25
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Location: Berkeley Heights YMCA
Darkness to Light: Child Abuse Prevention Training
Date: Thursday, April 27
Time: 6:15-8:15 PM
Location: The Learning Circle YMCA
Tiffany Escott, Mission Development & Advancement Director of the Summit Area YMCA, says, "Children in the Summit area deserve a happy and safe childhood, and it's our responsibility as adults and organizations to protect that right." By participating in the Five Days of Action's KNOW. SEE. RESPOND. campaign, the SAY hopes to inspire others to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.
For more information about preventing child sexual abuse, visit www.ymca.org/fivedaysofaction.
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 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 1.9 million adults have been trained using Darkness to Light trainings. 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 the Monique Burr Foundation for Children
The Monique Burr Foundation for Children (MBF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by providing the best comprehensive, evidence-based prevention education programs. MBF prevention programs educate and empower children and relevant adults with information and strategies to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to the four types of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect), exploitation, bullying, cyberbullying, human trafficking, digital abuse, and other digital dangers. MBF is now a leader in prevention education with our programs having reached over 4.5 million children throughout Florida and the United States. For more information, visit www.mbfpreventioneducation.org.
About American Camp Association
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization serving the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps in the US who annually serve 26 million campers. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp's voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org or call 800-428-2267.
In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.
Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.
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