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(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)

Five Days of Action.

That’s what YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas is participating in – a week to “raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.”

The YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making our communities a safer place for children, especially during this ever-changing environment, according to a news release from the organization.

Officials at the Y said 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 will help 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, according to the news release.

“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 Adam Klutts, Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA’s CEO. “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.”

The YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas is using the power of social media to reach out to their adult members and parents of program participants.

Messaging will drive parents to content such as how to keep their child safe on the Internet, what are signs of abuse, and how and when to respond if they suspect abuse.

All resources available during the Five Days of Action on how people know, see and respond to make our communities safer for children. This is done with the help of YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, with support from YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation, and Praesidium who have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.

For more information about preventing child sexual abuse, click here.

Child sexual abuse statistics — provided by Darkness to Light

  • One in 10 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 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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John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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