KIDS Center, a child abuse intervention center, reached a milestone this month as 10,000 adults in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties have taken Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children®. This training is vital to ensuring our community is prepared to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child abuse.
When 5 percent of any population is trained, as Central Oregon is now, positive cultural shifts occur in addressing this serious issue.
KIDS Center, dedicated to preventing, evaluating, and treating all forms of child abuse, is a regional leader in training adults to better protect children from sexual abuse through their facilitation of Stewards of Children®. Since 2005, KIDS Center has facilitated Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children® trainings and grown their educational and prevention community resources. Kim Bohme, Prevention and Education Coordinator at KIDS Center, stated:
“We are very proud of the over 10,000 adults in Central Oregon who have learned how to protect children from child sexual abuse. However, our work is not done. Statistics suggest that 1 in 10 children in Central Oregon will be sexually abused before the age of 18, making this one of the most prevalent health problem children face. There is another 95% of adults in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties that can learn how to create a safer place for children.”
Remember, Darkness to Light does not include peer-on-peer sex abuse in their statistics, otherwise the 1 in 10 ratio would be much worse.
The Stewards of Children® program lays the foundation for a proactive, community-wide approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse and builds momentum toward educating and empowering all adults to protect children from abuse. In Deschutes County alone, 6,506 adults are trained to create environments that reduce the risk for abuse and allow children to live, learn, play, and worship in safety. Bohme adds:
“Our goal is to continue to train people in preventing child sexual abuse in Central Oregon until every adult has experienced this valuable and important training. Our immediate goal is to ensure that an additional 1,000 adults participate in Stewards of Children® in 2017! KIDS Center is committed to the total health and well-being of the children and families in our community and beyond–we are ramping up our educational outreach in 2017 to reach as many adults as possible.”
Upcoming training dates:
January 10, 2016 Madras 4-7pm
February 9, 2016 Bend 6-9pm
With grant support from The Ford Family Foundation, Cow Creek Umpqua Indians Foundation and, Pacific Power Foundation, KIDS Center is able to offer Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® program to community members as a three-hour training. Registration can be found at kidscenter.org/trainings.
Those interested in participating in Darkness to Light Stewards of Children® trainings and other child abuse prevention programs and/or volunteer opportunities can contact Kim Bohme, KIDS Center Prevention and Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at
Congratulations, Kim. Well done! God bless you and your team. This program will, no doubt, save children from the horrors of sex abuse. Oregon, unfortunately, shows up in this blog more often than many states and so this program is very much needed.
What is also needed is for the children to be educated about safe/non-safe touch, reporting, etc.; in other words, Erin's Law is badly needed in Oregon. Please contact your law-makers about getting it done.
Correction: Erin's Law was passed in Oregon in June 2015! Excellent! There should be a sharp improvement in the numbers, particularly in Central Oregon.