Behind the Y: Preventing Child Abuse
A periodic newsletter from our President and CEO, Vinnie Marturano.
Let's Put Safety First
Did you know that 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser?
As a parent and a grandparent, this is the type of topic that keeps me up at night. As a leader at the YMCA, this is the type of topic I need to ensure remains at the forefront of everything we do as an organization. These important conversations are taking place with friends and loved ones, and we need to be having them as a community.
Our Y is unique in the types of programs and services we offer. From swim lessons to mental health groups, from summer camp to residential treatment - all our programs, no matter how different, must share a foundation of safety. It is a common thread found across age groups, facilities, and programs from Lowell to Stoughton to Plymouth.
Safety has been, and will continue to be, our first priority. But we need your help making sure every child in our community remains safe.
Along with YMCAs across America, we are using Child Abuse Prevention Month as a springboard to spread awareness about child sexual abuse and how we can work together to prevent it. Leading up to Healthy Kids Day®on April 21st, we will also be marking the Five Days of Action, beginning today through April 20th.
Five Days of Action focuses on preventing child sexual abuse by sharing tips on how adults can step up, speak out, and take action. At Old Colony Y, we encourage adults throughout the 31 cities and towns we serve to make a pledge to help end child sexual abuse, and share your pledge with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can download your Commitment Card here!
But remember, our commitment to the safety of children in our communities doesn't end after five days. It doesn't end after a month.
It doesn't end at all - and it will take a commitment from all of us to spread awareness and engage in practices designed to keep kids safe.
Our Y, along with 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 this month and every month.
Please take this time to review some of the information we have to share, though I hope you never have to use it.
Until next time,