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YMCA to host Stewards of Children

May 8, 2014 |

HOLYOKE – The Greater Holyoke YMCA is taking action to combat child sexual abuse by partnering with Darkness to Light (D2L), a nationally acclaimed nonprofit, to bring its award winning prevention program, Stewards of Children, to the community. Stewards of Children is an empowering two-hour workshop that educates adults on how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. Stewards of Children emphasizes child safety as an adult’s responsibility. The Y is offering a D2L training on May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. The training is particularly helpful to youth sports organizations, coaches, camp counselors, teachers, schools, faith centers and other service organizations. “We are an organization about youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Jennifer Gilburg, associate executive director of the Greater Holyoke YMCA, said. “We believe that every child deserves the chance to discover who they are and what they can achieve in a safe and nurturing environment, and that’s why Darkness to Light’s program is so important to us.” The training facilitates a safe discussion about the incidence and consequence of abuse and presents information about child protection policies and mandates. Approximately 20 percent of all victims of sexual abuse are younger than 8. One in five children are sexually solicited while on the Internet. Thirty to 40 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members. As many as 60 percent are abused by people their family trusts. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. All these numbers add up to an estimated 39 million survivors of sexual abuse living in the U.S. today. People can register by calling the Y at 534-5631 or visiting http://bit.ly/D2LTraining.

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