Child Abuse Prevention

Child Abuse Prevention

The Darien YMCA takes numerous measures to prevent child abuse, we:

  • Screening - All new employees and volunteers undergo a background check prior to hiring, and they must provide references.
  • Training - Comprehensive online and in-person child abuse prevention training is mandatory to all YMCA employees and volunteers, and they are required to refresh their training annually. The goal is to educate on inappropriate conduct, while also teaching the warning signs of abuse.
  • Reporting - Should any allegation arise, the YMCA will proactively work with the authorities and all parties involved to respond in a prompt, thorough and empathetic manner.
  • Policy - The Metro YMCA maintains a zero tolerance policy toward child abuse and child endangerment, and staff are to report any questionable behavior they see, or violations of their Employee Code of Conduct.
  • Auditing -To ensure we continuously uphold the highest standards in child safety and protection, we have developed internal teams that routinely audit our operations, and utilize a Know Your Score! assessment tool developed by Praesidium, a consulting firm that specializes in abuse prevention and risk management.

Read our Code of Conduct for Child Abuse

Warning signs of sexual abuse in children
  • Anxiety, chronic stomach pain, or headaches may occur.
  • "Too perfect" behavior, withdrawal, fear, depression, unexplained anger, and rebellion
.
  • Nightmares, bed-wetting, falling grades, cruelty to animals, bullying, being bullied, fire setting, runaway, and self-harm of any kind.
  • Sexual behavior and language that are not age-appropriate.
  • Use of alcohol or drugs at an early age.
  • Could have bruising, bleeding, redness and bumps, or scabs around the mouth, genitals, or anus. Urinary tract infections, STDs, and abnormal vaginal or penile discharges can also be signs.

 

 

How to report abuse

You do not need proof that abuse if occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reporting child sexual abuse is key in preventing and intervening in abuse.

If a child discloses abuse to you:

  • Give attention, compassion, and belief.
  • Listen calmly and openly.
  • Don't fill in gaps.
  • Don't ask leading questions about the details.
  • Ask open-ended questions like, "What happened next?"
  • Don't overreact.
  • Say, "I believe you" and "what happened is not your fault."

 

 

The Facts about Child Sexual Abuse

You do not need proof that abuse if occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reporting child sexual abuse is key in preventing and intervening in abuse.

If a child discloses abuse to you:

  • 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • 42 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are walking among us.
  • In 90% of cases, the child knows and trusts the abuser.
  • Children are victims of 70% of all reported sexual assaults.
  • 40% of sexual abused children are abused by an older or larger child.
  • Survivors of child sexual abuse have a higher likelihood of psychological disorders, excessive drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, and violence.

 
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