Partners in Prevention | Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training


YMCAs in New Jersey have a vision of a world free of child sexual abuse. A world in which all children are loved, protected, nurtured and able to grow up healthy. According to experts, one in 10 children – or 400,000 each year – will experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. To educate adults in the community about how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, including the Hunterdon County YMCA, have joined forces with Darkness to Light, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization and creators of the award-winningStewards of Children™ child sexual abuse prevention curriculum.

Through the initiative, the Hunterdon County YMCA is offering Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to adults in the community.  In-person, facilitator led trainings are open to the public and can be of specific interest to youth sports organizations, school districts, faith centers and non-profits. Local businesses, large or small, are encouraged to participate. Continuing education credits for professionals in various fields can be obtained through this training.

The evidence-based program is designed to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors. Darkness to Light training covers a 5-step action plan: learn the facts (1 in 10 children are sexually abused. Over 90% know their abuser); minimize opportunity (eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations to decrease risk for abuse); talk about it (have open conversations with children about our bodies, sex and boundaries); recognize the signs (know the signs of abuse to protect children from further harm); and react responsibly (understand how to respond to suspicions or reports of sexual abuse).

As research has shown that 5% is the critical point for positive change in the community, the NJ YMCA State Alliance has a goal of training 83,000 adults statewide by 2017. The Ys will work with local community partners including schools, volunteer groups and local government to meet their goal and help facilitate change. Hunterdon County YMCA will send a trainer free of charge to conduct the program for community groups.

We are offering instructor-led trainings at our Round Valley Administration Office located at 1410 Route 22 West in Annandale or the Deer Path branch, 144 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington.  Registration is required.

About Child Sexual Abuse
Crime and behavioral studies have long cited child sexual abuse for its devastating impact on society. Statistics are startling:

• Experts estimate one in 10 children is sexually abused.
• Over 90% of child victims are abused by someone they know and trust.
•  73% of children do not tell anyone for at least one year. Many never tell, making this a silent epidemic that can result in lifelong consequences.
• Child sexual abuse is linked to a host of societal issues including teen pregnancy, depression, anxiety and suicide.
•  Victims are three times more likely to have substance abuse issues, two times more likely to drop out of school, and are at greater risk for physical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other serious medical conditions.
• In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
• Child sexual abuse ranks second to murder as the most expensive victim crime in the U.S., where immediate and long-term costs exceed $35 billion annually.

Please join the Hunterdon County YMCA to help end child sexual abuse.


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