HelpLine is committed to protecting children by empowering adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through Darkness to Light’s – Stewards of Children presentation. Designed for adults who serve youth, parents/guardians and any other concerned, interested community members, the presentation teaches that protecting children is an adult’s job.
The next FREE community presentation is Thursday, January 29, 2015 6:00 pm – 8:15 pm at Helpline of Delaware and Morrow County, 950 Meadows Drive, Mt. Gilead, 43338. Registration is required. To register email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 740-363-1835 ext 109. For more information visit https://helplinedelmor.org/stewardsofchildren.
“We are working hard to change the paradigm of holding children responsible for an adult’s inappropriate actions.” says Sue Hanson, HelpLine’s Executive Director. “You may remember the campaign “Stranger Danger” but the fact is a very high percentage of sexual abuse survivors know their perpetrator and often it’s not a random stranger. This presentation gives anyone who is in some way responsible for child/children, practical tools to prevent child sexual abuse and respond appropriately to keep ALL kids in their lives safe.”
Darkness to Light’s® Stewards of Children is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention presentation founded in response to staggering statistics: 1 in 10 children experience some form of sexually abuse before the age of 18. Here are five steps you can begin using TODAY to protect the children in your life:
- Learn the Facts. It is likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused. It is also likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers but from friends and family. Consequences to children and to our society begin immediately. Child sexual abuse is a direct source of a number of problems facing us.
- Minimize Opportunity. More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in one-adult/one-child situations. One-on-one time with a trusted adult is healthy and valuable for a child. Reduce risks by dropping in unexpectedly, make sure outings are observable, ask the adult about specifics, talk with the child when he or she returns, and find ways to tell the adults who care for children that you and the child are educated about child sexual abuse.
- Talk About It. Have open conversations with children about our bodies, sex, and boundaries. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it. Children who disclose sexual abuse often tell a trusted adult other than a parent.
- Recognize the Signs. Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs are often there but you’ve got to spot them. Investigate redness, rashes, or swelling of the genital area. Emotional or behavioral signals from “too perfect” behavior to withdrawal and depression are more common.
- React Responsibly. Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react. Don’t overreact. Your reactions have a powerful influence on vulnerable children. Offer support to the child. If you find signs that you suspect are sexual abuse, have the child physically examined immediately by a professional who specializes in child sexual abuse.
HelpLine is a contract provider of the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and partially funded by the Council for Older Adults. A United Way Agency, HelpLine is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, National Alliance of Information & Referral Systems and certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. For more information, please visit: www.HelpLinedelmor.org.