The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is participating in the Five Days of Action from April 18-22.
The Five Days of Action is a weeklong campaign to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.
The YMCA encourages adults and organizations to join in marking this special week as Chester County comes together to make the community a safer place for children to live, learn, and play. With summer right around the corner — when children gather for activities and camps — it is an appropriate time to bring attention to the simple ways we can all make the children in our community safer.
During the Five Days of Action, YGBW will be engaging these critical steps of prevention — KNOW. SEE. RESPOND. — that will help adults better protect children. 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 about how we can all work together to prevent it from happening.
“The children of Chester County have the right to a happy and safe childhood, and it’s our responsibility as adults and organizations to stand up to protect that right,” said Claudia Aust, the senior association director of before and after school enrichment and camp. “We hope to inspire other organizations and members of our community to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.”
Child sexual abuse statistics (courtesy of nonprofit 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 four to eight percent of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.
What to do if you believe a child is being abused (courtesy of nonprofit 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 toward 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.
YMCA of Greater Brandywine — with support from the YMCA Champions for Child Protection, YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, Redwoods Group Foundation, Monique Burr Foundation for Children, and American Camp Association — have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.
Learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.