YMCAs promoting child protection during National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Newport News, VA - The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 22-26, 2019. 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 prevent child sexual abuse.

During April and all year long, the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making the Virginia peninsulas a safer place for children. This year's Five Days of Action theme is "Know. See. Respond." 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 Adam Klutts, Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA's CEO. "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 Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA centers will have materials available during the Five Days of Action, April 22-26, for people who want to know how to make our communities safer for children. This is done with the help of 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.
Materials are derived from YMCA of the USA's "Know. See. Respond." copyrighted in 2019.


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.

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ABOUT THE PENINSULA METROPOLITAN YMCA
The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA is a cause-driven charity, strengthening communities on the Virginia peninsulas for over 120 years, through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across the Association, 18 facilities engage 50,000 + men, women and children - regardless of age, income or background - to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve our community's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Peninsula Y has long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. pmymca.org

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 1.7 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.


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.
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