Child Abuse Prevention

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and youth-serving organizations across the country are working this month to raise awareness and understanding about a topic that needs more attention in more communities: child sexual abuse.

Statistics reveal that about 1 in 10 children in the United States will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Sadly, in more than 90 percent of reported cases, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts.

While we are placing a special emphasis on this topic during the month of April, the protection of youth from abuse is our Y’s top priority every single day of the year.

That’s because keeping kids safe from abuse is essential to their healthy development. Studies show that children who experience adverse childhood experiences like sexual abuse are more likely to adopt risky behaviors like smoking and drug use, develop chronic health conditions such as depression and heart disease, underperform academically and die early.

Also, abuse doesn’t discriminate. It happens to children of all ages, genders, races, faiths and socioeconomic classes. It is a broad-based, too-common a crime in our country today.

The good news is that child sexual abuse is preventable, and at our Y we have taken this to heart. We are proud to train staff and volunteers in how to identify and report child abuse. Our Y is fully committed to doing our part to keep youth protected from abuse in our community, and we are asking you to join us.

As a community, we have an obligation to nurture our children and protect their only childhood. We must prevent child sexual abuse to live up to this obligation.

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