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YMCA to raise sexual abuse awareness

YMCA to raise sexual abuse awareness

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Mid-Willamette Family YMCA is participating in the Five Days of Action, which began Monday and runs through Friday. The Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.

The Mid-Willamette Family YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making Albany and surrounding communities safer places for children.

“Not only is our community dealing with a pandemic that is separating kids in need from the safe adults in their lives, but there are spikes in domestic violence, cries for social justice for Black lives, and more concerns about the mental health of youth and adults,” said YMCA Executive Director Chris Reese.

Five Days of Action will offer tips, tools, activities and resources to help adults recognize the warning signs and respond quickly to prevent abuse.

“Protecting children from sexual abuse must be the number one goal of every person who cares about the health and well-being of kids,” Reese said. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and encourage adults to make it happen in our community. It takes us all.”

Mid-Willamette Family YMCA, with support from the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, 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 2020.

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS - PROVIDED BY DARKNESS TO LIGHT

• One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th 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 a 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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