1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused prior to age 18. My goal is to change these statistics.
As I returned from facilitating my third “Stewards of Children” training to the Upper Bucks Family YMCA management Team, I reflected on the event. Their participation and questions revealed deep concern. They wanted to know how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. I know that trainings like these make a difference. Very slowly, and in a small way, I am helping to create a healthier Bucks county.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The organization Darkness to Light provides training and empowers people to prevent child sexual abuse. Here is a passage from their recent newsletter explaining why this month was designated:
“In 1983, April was proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities are promoted across the country during April of each year. The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children’s Bureau coordinates Child Abuse Prevention Month activities at the Federal level, providing information and releasing updated national statistics about child abuse and neglect.
In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The campaign has since expanded across the country; many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse. Based on Prevent Child Abuse America’s (PCAA) Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, some communities distribute pinwheels and coordinate outdoor pinwheel displays representing children affected by abuse or neglect. Regardless of the type of activity, the focus has shifted to a positive message of supporting families and strengthening communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.”
On April 18th, I will be visiting Lower Bucks Family YMCA to deliver this important training to their management staff. All organizations that work with children MUST be aware of predators at all times. Predators will seek out Boys/Girls Clubs, Scouts, YMCAs, Church Youth Groups, etc. and it is the responsibility of the organization to train their staff in order to protect all children. This April, make it your mission to
- April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Spread the word, wear a blue ribbon, take time to advocate for children.
- For more information about “Stewards of Children,” contact me at 215-348-8131 x 1126.
- For more information about Darkness to Light, the organization fighting to prevent child abuse, visit www.D2L.org.
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 (www.cbfymca.org) 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 (www.novabucks.org). Most importantly, she is a proud mom (two daughters) and grandmother (two beautiful grandchildren). This encourages her to stay in shape in order to keep up with her growing family!
About the Blog: Positively Bucks County is the official United Way of Buck County blog. We focus on the news, tips, tricks and ideas from the people and organizations that make Bucks County a better place. To learn more about United Way of Bucks County, visit www.uwbucks.org. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, contact Marissa Christie at firstname.lastname@example.org.