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Boreal Community Media

Adults coming together to protect children from sexual abuse

Apr 17, 2019 07:01PM ● By Editor
Media Release from the Cook County Community YMCA - April 17, 2019

COOK COUNTY COMMUNITY 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 YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making Cook County 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 Emily Marshall, Executive Director of the Cook County YMCA. “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.”

Throughout the month of April, the Y is inviting youth to participate in the pinwheel coloring contest and The Cook County Community YMCA and the 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 18 th 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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