Know. See. Respond.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our commitment to protecting the children in our community, we’re participating in the Five Days of Action - a week-long campaign to increase awareness of child sexual abuse and empower and equip us all to prevent it. By taking part in this important campaign, and through implementing abuse prevention practices year-round, The YMCA of Greater Cleveland is committing to the safety of all children in our community. The Know. See. Respond. Campaign ties in three impact areas – preventing child sexual abuse at both summer camp and in youth sports, and internet safety.
Knowing about child sexual abuse can help adults better understand what to look for and how to prevent it. As parents, caregivers, and trusted adults to the young people in our lives, we play an important role in protecting them from abuse. This requires our commitment to continually learn and then ask questions about the safety of our loved ones. The Y – and other youth serving organizations – implement a series of measures to keep the kids in their care safe.
When we see boundaries being crossed or suspect a child is being abused, we can and should act quickly. Sports should be safe places for children to grow, both as people and athletes. As a parent, caregiver, coach, or volunteer, it is up to you to make sure any environment in which children in your care interact is free from 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 that you don’t need evidence to report abuse—only reasonable suspicion? It is our responsibility to respond to any and all disclosure, discovery or suspicion of child sexual abuse. As adults and children alike have turned to digital tools for school, work and socialization, online safety matters now more than ever. Many online dangers put children at risk, such as cyber bullying, online enticement and more. As an adult, keeping an open line of communication with any children in your care who may access online content can be key to helping prevent sexual abuse. Learn the facts, how you can keep kids safe, and how to respond to online victimization at https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz.
The children of the Greater Cleveland area have the right to a happy and safe childhood, and it's our responsibility as adults to stand up to protect that right. By joining in the Five Days of Action campaign, we hope to inspire other organizations and members of our community to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.