Know the Facts about Child Abuse
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our commitment to Youth Development, we participate in Five Days of Action, a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of the signs and patterns of child abuse so that all members of the community can take an active role in keeping children safe from harm.
As a community hub for children's education, sports and socialization, the YMCA wants all parents, caregivers, coaches, teachers and volunteers to be aware of the signs of child abuse. We're asking the community to know, see and respond to signs of child abuse.
Knowing about child sexual abuse and related prevention measures is a critical first step to protecting children from abuse. That's why we encourage caregivers to learn about signs and patterns of abuse - and to ask questions when placing children in the care of others. With summer camp approaching, the Y recommends using Praesidium’s list of screening questions.
When it comes to youth sports, we all play a role in ensuring an abuse-free environment. The YMCA encourages adults to act quickly when they see boundaries being crossed or they suspect that a child is being abused. The U.S. Center for SafeSport provides free training and tools to help prevent child sexual abuse in youth sports.
Did you know? You don’t need evidence to report child abuse—only reasonable suspicion. And it is our responsibility to respond to any and all disclosure, discovery or suspicion of child sexual abuse - whether online or in the real world. Online safety matters now more than ever and the Y reminds you to keep an open line of communication with any children in your care who have access to online content. NetSmartz provides educational tools and a way to report online victimization.
At the Y, child abuse prevention happens every day - not just during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Our Y has over two thousand staff members and volunteers working with youth in many different programs. These individuals participate in annual training to help identify and prevent abuse.
Visit the link below to view our useful guide: Protect your Child from Abuse. This guide details some of the things we do as an organization to create a safe space and offers information and guidance for parents on how to talk to your child about his or her personal safety.
On the last page of the Guide, you will find contact information for resources at our Association and for local helplines.