YMCA taking part in 5 Days of Action to fight child sexual abuse

in Health by

From staff reports

The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is participating in the Five Days of Action through Friday, Oct. 30. The Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.

As communities continue to participate in social distancing, protecting kids looks different this year. Not only is the 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.

Five Days of Action helps communities and parents/caregivers take it One Day at a Time and will offer tips, tools, activities, and resources that are relevant to the current environment.

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 Kaylin Garst, Executive Branch Director of the Wardle Family YMCA in Port Royal. “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.”

For more information about preventing child sexual abuse, visit https://www.fivedaysofaction.org/

Materials are derived from YMCA of the USA’s “Know. See. Respond.”

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS

(Source: Darkness to Light)

One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

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

(Source: 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.