SHREWSBURY, NJ, (Oct. 31, 2013)) – The Community YMCA has joined forces with YMCAs across New Jersey and the nonprofit Darkness to Light to educate adults on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, which strikes one in 10 children before their 18th birthday.
Through this statewide initiative, The Community YMCA is offering Stewards of Children™ child sexual abuse prevention training to adults in Monmouth County. The award-winning training program was created by Darkness to Light to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse.
“As social responsibility is one of the Y’s key areas of focus, we are committed to developing community-based solutions that unite people to participate in and work for positive social change,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “By partnering with Darkness to Light, we will educate and empower adults to become agents of change to protect children from sexual abuse.”
Free, in-person, facilitator-led trainings are open to the public and may be of specific interest to youth sports organizations, school districts, faith centers and nonprofit organizations. Local businesses, large or small, are encouraged to participate. The first in-person training is Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2-5 p.m., at the Y’s Administration Office, 170 Patterson Ave., Shrewsbury, NJ, 07702. RSVP by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
training is also available for New Jersey residents now through April 23,
2014 at www.https://d2l.csod.com.
Continuing education credits for professionals in various fields can be
obtained through this training.
“Child sexual abuse is a silent epidemic that crosses every socioeconomic boundary and does not discriminate. We, as adults, need to take responsibility and protect children in our community,” Anderson said. ”By offering Stewards of Children training, the Y hopes to empower and mobilize adults to take action and prevent child sexual abuse.”
The evidence-based program is designed to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors. The training covers a 5-step action plan: learn the facts (1 in 10 children are sexually abused. Over 90% know their abuser); minimize opportunity (eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations to decrease risk for abuse); talk about it (have open conversations with children about our bodies, sex and boundaries); recognize the signs (know the signs of abuse to protect children from further harm); and react responsibly (understand how to respond to suspicions or reports of sexual abuse).
To date, The Community YMCA has trained 25 facilitators and instructors have already educated over 140 people.
Research has shown that 5% is the critical point for positive change in the community, therefore, the NJ YMCA State Alliance has a goal of training 83,000 adults by 2017. The Ys will work with local community partners including schools, volunteer groups and local government to meet their goal and help facilitate change.
“The YMCA and New Jersey YMCA State Alliance continue to be incredible partners in the fight against child sexual abuse. Their commitment to protect children in YMCA programs, facilities and in the community should serve as an inspiration to all youth serving organizations across the country,” said Jolie Logan, President and CEO of Darkness to Light.
Crime and behavioral studies have long cited child sexual abuse for its devastating impact on society. Statistics are startling:
· Experts estimate one in 10 children are sexually abused.
· Over 90% of child victims are abused by someone they know and trust.
· 73% of children do not tell anyone for at least one year. Many never tell, making this a silent epidemic that can result in lifelong consequences.
· Child sexual abuse is linked to a host of societal issues including teen pregnancy, depression, anxiety and suicide.
· Victims are three times more likely to have substance abuse issues, two times more likely to drop out of school, and are at greater risk for physical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other serious medical conditions.
· In the U.S., alone, there are an estimated 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
· Child sexual abuse ranks second to murder as the most expensive victim crime in the U.S., where immediate and long-term costs exceed $35 billion annually.
“We can make a difference step by step, and these steps add up to happier, healthier children and stronger communities,” Anderson said.
For more information and to learn about Stewards of Children workshops or online training sessions, contact Heather Church, 732.544.4544 or email@example.com.
About The Community YMCA
The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, health and wellness, leadership, arts enrichment, personal and family counseling and summer day camp. With a mission to serve all, more than $650,000 in reduced and free membership fees and programs is provided by the YCares financial assistance program to individuals and families in need. For more information, visit TheCommunityYMCA.org.
About Darkness to Light (D2L)Darkness to Light (D2L) has championed the movement to end child sexual abuse (CSA) since its founding in 2000. With affiliates in all 50 U.S. states and 16 additional countries, D2L provides individuals, organizations, and communities with the tools to protect children from sexual abuse. To date, the D2L network of 6,000 authorized facilitators has trained over 500,000 parents, youth serving professionals, and organization volunteers in D2L’s award-winning Stewards of Children™ child sexual abuse prevention program. For more information, please visit www.D2L.org/Stewards.