Child sexual abuse is one of the most prevalent, most hidden risks that kids in our communities face. 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18 in the US, and still too few people know about the extent of this problem, and what all of us can do to keep kids safe.
We are the YMCA Guardians Against Child Sexual Abuse, a group of YMCA leaders and partners that has come together to help activate the YMCA movement’s power to address this challenge. We believe that YMCAs and all other youth serving organizations can play a powerful role in increasing awareness about child sexual abuse and how to prevent it.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and, in partnership with YMCA of the USA, we are encouraging all YMCAs to join together in taking Five Days of Action leading up to Healthy Kids Day, from April 24th-28th, to increase awareness in our communities. We’ve compiled tools from experts Darkness to Light, Praesidium, and Stop It Now to make it easy for your YMCA to engage your community.
We suggest using the enclosed framework for taking Five Days of Action, but also encourage you to adapt this template or create your own plan in any way that will better fit your association and your community.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of us. Thank you for joining us in this critical effort. We’re grateful for your commitment to protecting youth at your YMCA and in your community, and for your support of a cause that is central to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility!
-The YMCA Guardians Against Child Sexual Abuse