Health & Wellness

Hunterdon County YMCA Taking Action to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

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Sign posted outside the Round Valley Branch of the YMCA
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READINGTON, NJ - April is National Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month, and the Hunterdon County YMCA is designating a week this month to raise awareness and understanding.

From April 24-28, the Y will host Five Days of Action for Child Abuse Prevention, a series of events and activities designed to inform the community about how to recognize, prevent and report child sexual abuse. This effort is part of the Y’s ongoing commitment to provide safe, enriching environments where children can learn, grow and thrive. 

According to a study by Darkness to Light, about one in 10 children experiences the trauma of sexual abuse before age 18, typically at the hands of someone the child knows and trusts. Also, abuse happens to children of all ages, genders, races, faiths and socioeconomic classes. 

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“Child sexual abuse is a broad-based, too-common crime in our country today, but the good news is that it’s preventable,” said Bruce Black, President & CEO of the Hunterdon County YMCA. “At the Y, we are fully committed to doing our part to protect kids from abuse in our community. With the Five Days of Action, we are asking others in the community to join us.”

The events and activities for the Five Days of Action include:

  • Plant pinwheel gardens at both Deer Path and Round Valley branches
  • Children in the Y Early Childhood Learning Center, Preschool program and Child Watch participants will decorate pinwheels
  • Prevention materials will be available to members and the general public
  • Stewards of Children Child Abuse Prevention Training – free to the public – April 24, 6pm at the Round Valley Administration Office.  Call 908-483-4327 to register.

Throughout the year, the Y works to prevent abuse by partnering with Darkness to Light to provide child abuse prevention training to adults, which strengthens our community and keeps our kids safe. This training, called Stewards of Children, is based on The 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children. The five steps are: Learn the Facts, Minimize Opportunity, Talk About It, Recognize the Signs, and React Responsibly.  The Hunterdon County YMCA offers this training free of charge to the general public.  A training will be held during the 5 Days of Action on Monday, April 24. 

The HCY invites the community to visit one of its facilities from April 24-28, or its website at www.hcymca.org, to learn more about resources, training and opportunities to get involved with child-protection efforts.

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