April is Child Abuse Prevention month. And once again YMCAs in Massachusetts and across the country are engaged in raising awareness and education in a campaign called Five Days of Action for Child Abuse Prevention.
From April 24 – April 28, our Y will highlight information, resources, and methods on how to prevent, recognize and respond to child sexual abuse.
Research reveals that 1 in every 10 children in the United States will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
Sadly, in more than 90% of the cases reported, this abuse happens by someone the child knows and trusts. This threat to children represents a health risk that can only be described as an epidemic based on the disturbing prevalence of abuse that exists in all elements of our society.
Equally disturbing is that it doesn’t have to happen. Child sexual abuse can be prevented through community wide efforts and vigilance. A predator seeks three things for abuse to occur. Access, privacy and control. With proper policies, procedures and protocols, all youth serving organizations can minimize the risk and deny an offender the access to harm children.
For the past five years our YMCA is proud to have partnered and collaborated with school systems, municipalities and other human service organizations throughout our service area to help bring awareness, education and training regarding this issue to the forefront. We remain committed to this collaborative cause and our effort to be part of a community based prevention movement.
Please join us.
While we place a special emphasis on this topic during the month of April, child safety and child protection remains our Y’s number one priority every single day of the year. For more information, please visit our website for resources, training and how you can become involved at www.hockymca.org.
At our branches next week, we will be asking members, staff and volunteers to sign pledges to protect children. We will be displaying these signed pledges throughout our branches during the week to promote and emphasize the importance of community based prevention.
The safety of children is the responsibility of all adults. Children represent our hope for a bright and promising future. Let’s work together to protect our kids and help ensure that promising future and protect their only childhood.
President and CEO
Hockomock Area YMCA