The YMCA of the Chesapeake is participating in the Five Days of Action, October 26-30, 2020. The Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.
The YMCA of the Chesapeake encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making the Eastern Shore a safer place for children, especially during this ever-changing environment. As our communities continue to press pause and participate in social distancing, we know that protecting kids looks different this year. Not only is our community dealing with a pandemic that is separating kids in need from the safe adults in their lives, but there are spikes in domestic violence, cries for social justice for Black lives, and more concerns about the mental health of youth and adults.
Five Days of Action will help communities and parents/caregivers take it One Day at a Time and will offer tips, tools, activities, and resources that are relevant to the current environment.
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 Jennifer Gill, YMCA of the Chesapeake Vice President of Member Experience. “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.”
The YMCA of the Chesapeake, with support from the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, 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 2020.
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 the YMCA of the Chesapeake
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and the largest Human Service organization on the Eastern Shore; strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Shore, Ys engage 40,000 members and their families, regardless of age, income or background, to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the Shore’s health and wellbeing, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of the Chesapeake operates facilities in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico Counties in Maryland and on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Last year, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided over $1,750,000 in assistance to over 16,000 community members, turning no one away due to inability to pay. Additionally, the Y spent $200,000 on outreach efforts and programming in the communities it serves.
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-us/redwoods-group-foundation.
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.