I would argue these numbers are low. My research shows 1 in 10 males, but 1 in 5 girls will be sexually abused by 18. So the actual ratio of both should probably be 1 in 7.5. Nevertheless, this looks like a great program and I pray it will make a significant difference in the number of children being molested. Perhaps other jurisdictions should be looking at this program.
The Hamilton Area YMCA strongly believes that if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped and that through awareness and education, adults can protect children. Taking a proactive role to help keep kids safe from sexual abuse, the YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light to provide free Stewards of Children training to adults, according to Jill Makkay, spokesperson for the Hamilton Area YMCA.
"Through the initiative, the YMCA is offering Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to adults in the community. The Hamilton Area YMCA knew this partnership was ideal in raising awareness and taking steps to preventing child sexual abuse."
Darkness to Light, which is based in South Carolina, created Stewards of Children, a training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for parents, individuals concerned about the safety of children and groups that serve youth.
"We believe this training is important for adults in our community and our staff members so they are better educated in the facts about child sexual abuse," Ms. Makkay said. "Knowing the facts surrounding child sexual abuse is an important step in prevention. Once the Stewards of Children training is completed, adults and staff members will be versed in minimizing opportunity, the ability to talk openly and responsibly with children, recognize the signs of abuse to protect children, and how to respond to suspicions or reports of sexual abuse."
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"The two-hour Stewards of Children online training course is free for all New Jersey residents through December 2014," Ms. Makkay said. "We encourage everyone to take the training course, especially those who work in school settings — youth sports organizations, faith centers and nonprofit organizations. The online training course consists of a personal prevention plan, frequently asked questions on child sexual abuse and scenarios to practice the knowledge learned. A certificate is provided with the successful completion."
Stewards of Children has trained 531,000 adults since its inception, according to Darkness to Light.The ultimate mission of Darkness to Light, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way the nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things someone could do, according to Darkness to Light.
For questions or more information, email stewards@D2L.org. For an in-person training for a group at the Hamilton Area YMCA, contact Jill Makkay at 609-581-9622 ext. 122 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find the online training at www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6143709/k.3D5F/Child