YMCA continues the fight against child sexual abuse

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Fact: One in 10 children will be sexually abused by the time they reach their 18th birthday. The YMCA of Beaufort County takes the safety of its youth seriously and is implementing regular “Darkness to Light” training for its staff who are in direct contact with the children and members of the community they serve.  To date, the YMCA of Beaufort County has trained 87 of its staff members. An open training session for interested community members will be held Tuesday, January 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the YMCA facility, located at 1801 Richmond Ave. in Port Royal. The cost is $10 per person and payment and registration must be received by January 10. Registration is available in person at the YMCA or by calling 843-522-9622.

“Darkness to Light” is an approved training for two contact hours of continuing education by The National Association of Social Workers, The National Board of Certified Counselors, and is a certified training offering two hours of professional development through The Center for Child Care Career Development.

“While sexual abuse of children is a horrible thing, it’s a reality, and at the YMCA, we strive to do all we can to protect our children and youth,” said Kaylin Garst, operations director. “We take this training opportunity seriously and hope others will take us up on the offer for the public training. It is vital to the success of our kids.”

“Darkness to Light” was created in 2000 as a non-profit with the mission of reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse through public awareness and education. With tremendous community support, more than $100,000 was raised and an award-winning media campaign was developed and launched in June 2001.

Today the organization has more than 3,500 facilitators who teach the program in 49 states and 15 additional countries. More than 300,000 copies of the Stewards of Children curriculum have been distributed. The program is also available in Spanish and Icelandic.

To learn more, contact the YMCA of Beaufort County at 843-522-9622 or visit www.ymcabeaufortcounty.com.

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