From the South Mountain YMCA:
The South Mountain YMCA is marking National Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 22-26, highlighting how adults can spot warning signs of child sexual abuse and step in to help.
The theme of this year’s Five Days of Action is ‘Know. See. Respond.’ — steps adults can take to advocate for children. “When caring adults learn how abuse happens and are on the lookout for warning signs, they can intervene and prevent it,” South Mountain YMCA Executive Director James Goodger said.
The South Mountain YMCA and the other six branches of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges are participating in Five Days of Action. Adults can sign the Pledge to Protect Children at the Y’s welcome center or online at https://goo.gl/forms/eeSItnZwLEilxbuT2. Metro YMCA President and CEO Richard K. Gorab belongs to YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, a group of Y leaders spearheading the awareness movement.
Information on how to prevent child sexual abuse is at www.fivedaysofaction.org. The YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation and Praesidium helped make the materials available.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics (provided by Darkness to Light):
- 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
- Approximately 30 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
- 60 percent of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.
- False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8 percent 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 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.
The South Mountain YMCA will host Healthy Kids Day — a celebration for improving the health and well-being of children — on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Family Fun Run starts at 8:45 a.m. at Columbia High School’s Underhill Field. Call 973-762-4145 or visit http://www.smountainymca.org or for more information.