Why, after presenting to so many organizations and individuals, are adults not signing up for the “Stewards of Children” training? Why, when there is no fee for the facilitator, are adults not considering this awareness program? Why, with all of the advertising and promotion around the Y in our brochure, on our website and TV, are members not signing up for this program? Why are the youth-serving organizations such as churches, schools, hospitals and foster care agencies that we have spoken to not contacting us to better educate their staff and families on preventing child sexual abuse? Why, when I am receiving tremendous support from Bucks County social services organizations to spread the word and teach this program, are people not signing up?
Why does the horrific abuse of children continue to be so prevalent in our society? I am deeply concerned. This is a tough topic and for years it has been swept under the carpet because no one wants to discuss child sexual abuse or they believe it just doesn’t happen here. But, the facts are startling. Why, over the course of 30 years, haven’t the facts changed that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexual abused prior to their 18th birthday? Why is it that only 5-10% of victims disclose? Why are there 39 million known survivors? How many more victims are out there, broken and afraid to disclose their abuse?
It breaks my heart to know that the statistics that I present through this new awareness program “Stewards of Children” are the exact same numbers that I taught 30 years ago in a “YMCA Child Abuse Training” for staff. Nothing has changed….why? It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
Children can’t protect themselves. They need adults armed with knowledge on how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to children sexual abuse. Daily, we as adults pick up the paper and watch the news reports only to see that child sexual abuse is happening all around us. In this morning’s paper, the headline reads: “Stronger abuse laws credited to Heckler.” I know there is a movement in our state to protect children, but more adults need to get involved.
Learn the Facts
· 70% of all sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under
· As many as 60% are abused by people the family trusts; abusers frequently try to form a trusting relationship with parents.
· 30-40% of children are abused by family members.
· In more than 90% of sexual abuse cases the child and their family know and trust the abuser.
· 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited while on the internet.
Please contact me today for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Central Bucks Family YMCA at www.cbfymca.org. You can also call 215-348-8131 to register for the next educational program of “Stewards of Children” on Wednesday, November 13, at 6:30 at the Y Teen Center.
Learn more about the Darkness to Light Organization, “Stewards of Children” at www.D2L.org and receive tips, facts and parenting information to protect your children. You can also check out our brochure and browse for training classes.
About the contributor: Rosemarie Molyneux has been involved with the YMCA for the past 33 years. Her career began with the Philadelphia Metro YMCA prior to coming to the Central Bucks Family YMCA in 1995 as the Associate General Director. She is proud of the CBFYMCA’s commitment to the community. She recently became a facilitator for the “Stewards of Children,” an awareness program to encourage Bucks County to become more involved in recognizing, preventing and reacting responsibly to child sexual abuse. This program is run in partnership with NOVA. Most importantly, she is a proud mom of two daughters and grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren. This encourages her to stay in shape in order to keep up with her growing family!