WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is participating in the Five Days of Action campaign from April 24-28, 2023. The Five Days of Action is a weeklong campaign to raise awareness and inspire adults to protect children from sexual abuse – and aptly takes place during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Summer is approaching quickly and is a time when children gather for activities and camps. It is more important than ever to bring attention to the ways we can make the children in our community safer. In addition to regular staff training as part of their everyday commitment to child safety, YGBW plans to raise awareness by sharing tips with members, volunteers, coaches and other adults to ensure that all are equipped to know, see and respond to any suspicion of child abuse.
“On a daily basis, we provide care, instruction, coaching and mentorship to children of all ages. With this comes a responsibility to ensure that our classrooms, camps, fields, courts and other facilities are safe environments for children,” shares Terri Edgar, Vice President of Operations for YGBW. “Childhood safety extends beyond our facilities though. This is why we are committed to sharing what we know with the community. It is our collective responsibility to be informed and to keep children safe from harm.”
Know. See. Respond.
YGBW’s awareness-raising efforts are part of the national Know. See. Respond. campaign – implemented by YMCAs across the country. The Know. See. Respond. campaign focuses on preventing child sexual abuse in three settings – at summer camp, in youth sports, and in the online world. To support this campaign, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the U.S. Center for SafeSport and Praesidium have shared educational resources.
Knowing about child sexual abuse and related prevention measures is critical for parents, caregivers and trusted adults. To protect children from abuse, the Y encourages 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. https://www.praesidiuminc.com/6-key-questions-parent-ask-camp/
When it comes to youth sports, the Y reminds parents, caregivers, coaches and volunteers that they 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 spot signs of abuse. Learn more about the signs and how you can help prevent child sexual abuse in youth sports at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/parents/.
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. https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz
The YMCA is committed to child protection. Learn more about how we keep kids safe across our community. https://ymcagbw.org/blog/know-facts-about-child-abuse