- Our Cause
- Work for the Y
Darkness to Light
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
Join us to help keep children safe in our community
The North Suburban YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Arlington and Lexington. Stewards of Children is the only evidence-based training available nationally that is proven to increase knowledge and change child protection behavior in adults. Our Y is working with schools, day care centers, community organizations, faith groups, and others to train community members to help keep our children safe.
Know the Facts
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. In 90% of these cases, the abuser is someone the child, and likely their family, knows and trusts. Children are victims in nearly 70% of all sexual assault cases reported in the United States. 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited while on the Internet. Survivors of child sexual abuse have a higher likelihood of psychological disorders, excessive drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, and violence.
Get Involved & Make A Difference
The North Suburban YMCA is committed to educating and training 5,935 people in our community by the year 2017 using Stewards of Children curriculum. There are two ways to get involved: Stewards of Children or Prevent Now! When adults actively seek to make a difference, a cultural change can occur. We’re working to shift from a norm where child sexual abuse is kept in fear and denial and children are easy targets, to a community where every child is protected through a community of trained and aware adults.
Stewards of Children
Stewards of Children is a free, three-hour training designed to educate adults on how to recognize, prevent, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse, emphasizing child safety as every adult’s responsibility. The Y’s goal is simple: to educate and prepare our community to deal with and prevent child sexual abuse. The training teaches the steps to preventing abuse, recognizing warning signs, and reacting responsibly when abuse occurs. Three training hour credits are available.
Learn more about what you can do to proactively keep the children in our community safe by attending a Prevent Now! meeting designed to create awareness and discussion around the issues of child sexual abuse. Prevent Now! is a great first step for those exploring getting involved and making change.
Stewards of Children: Date TBA
Prevent Now: Date TBA
Prevention is the Answer
7 Steps to Protection
- LEARN THE FACTS. UNDERSTAND THE RISKS. Become aware of the significant threat that children face from child sexual abuse. Make decisions based on the facts of child sexual abuse rather than on level of trust in others.
A trained adult can protect an average of 10 children from sexual abuse.
- MINIMIZE OPPORTUNITY. If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you’ll dramatically low-er the risk of sexual abuse for your child.
- TALK ABOUT IT. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.
- STAY ALERT. Do not expect there to be obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs of sexual abuse are often present- but the signs are often emotional or behavioral, not physical or verbal. It takes an alert adult to recognize these signs.
- MAKE A PLAN. Learn where to go, who to call and how to react in the best interest of your child even if you have no suspicions that your child is being sexually abused. Formu-lating plans in advance can be of significant benefit to your child should abuse occur.
- ACT ON SUSPICIONS. Being a silent bystander to sexual abuse can lead to a lifetime of psychological and emotional problems for a child victim.
- GET INVOLVED. Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Use your voice and your vote to make your community a safer place for our children.
To learn more, call Jodi Crowley at 781-305-2908