WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -The YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making the Northwoods 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, 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 a top goal of every person who cares about the health and well-being of kids,” said Ryan Zietlow, YMCA of the Northwoods 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 YMCA of the Northwoods will highlight a social media campaign from October 26th through the 30th, providing easy access to resources, and ensuring that all children are in safe and nurturing environments.
The YMCA of the Northwoods, 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.
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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