At the Y, we believe ALL children deserve the opportunity to discover who they are, and what they can achieve. Every day, we are proud and respectful of the trust parents and communities around the country place in the Y. From youth sports to day and overnight summer camp; from out-of-school time to preschool; our Ys work to ensure your children have a safe, fun-filled experience.
At the Y, child protection is our number one priority year-round. During April – Child Abuse Prevention Month – we participate in a week-long campaign— Five Days of Action—to increase awareness of child sexual abuse and empower and equip our communities to prevent it. By taking part in this important campaign and through implementing abuse prevention practices year-round, we can all commit to the safety of all children in our care.
The Know. See. Respond. campaign ties in three impact areas – preventing child sexual abuse at summer camp, in youth sports, and on the internet. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, U.S. Center for SafeSport and Praesidium have shared resources to support this campaign.
We pledge to protect the children we serve, and hope you will too! Follow the link below to download a printable version of the 2023 Five Days of Action Pledge Card!
During these Five Days of Action, we introduce the foundational habits of child sexual abuse prevention—Know. See. Respond. When put into practice, they help us create safer environments for children to grow and learn.
Know: Knowing about child sexual abuse can help us better understand what to look for and how to keep it from happening in the first place. For example, did you know that 1 in 10 children in the U.S. will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday?
See: When we know the signs of abuse, we can intervene on behalf of children.
Respond: If you suspect abuse, are you ready to respond? Do you know when and how to report suspected child abuse? Follow the link below to find your state’s child protection agency
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. Next time you enroll your loved one in a new program, ask them about their child protection practices. For this summer, you can use this list.
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 individuals 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 uscenterforsafesport.org/parents/.
Did you know that you don’t need evidence to report abuse—only reasonable suspicion? But even for adults, reporting abuse is hard. We don’t want to falsely accuse someone or get someone in trouble. On the other hand, reporting might be the one thing that saves a child – or children – from abuse. 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 missingkids.org/netsmartz.
Together, we can help prevent child sexual abuse. Take a look at some of these helpful resources from other organizations who share the Y’s commitment to the safety of children.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport produces online abuse awareness and prevention courses.
Click here to access all online training materials. After following the link, click on the “Get Trained Now” button. This will take you to the Learning Management System, where you can create a free account and access the trainings.
Darkness to Light offers training that specializes in the education and prevention of child sexual abuse, other forms of abuse and mandated reporting. Click here to access all online training materials.