The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 16-20. Leading up to Healthy Kids Day --a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids-- Five Days of Action focuses on preventing child sexual abuse by sharing tips on how adults can step up and speak out to prevent child sexual abuse.
During April and all year long, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making communities a safer place for children. "By encouraging adults to step up and speak out, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and foster conversations around how we can all work together to prevent it from happening," officials said.
“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 Janet Dunn, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and speak out to encourage adults to make it happen in our community. It takes all of us.”
Five Days of Action leads up to YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooa’s Healthy Kids Day, a free event to the public centered around family/kid-friendly activities, food, games and more. See the following branches on these days/times:
• Downtown Family YMCA: Saturday, April 28 from 1-3 p.m. on the Miracle League Field at Warner Park.
• Hamilton Family YMCA - Saturday, April 21 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Hamilton Family YMCA
• YMCA Healthy Living Center at North River – Saturday, April 21 from 9-11 a.m. at the YMCA Healthy Living Center at North River
• Cleveland Family YMCA – Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Cleveland Family YMCA. Family Color Run begins at noon.
• J.A. Henry Community YMCA – Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Orange Grove Center, 615 Derby St.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga and the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, with support from YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation and Praesidium have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.
For more information about preventing child sexual abuse visit www.fivedaysofaction.org.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics - provided by 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 - 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 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.