An estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Children are sexually abused every day but most child victims never report the abuse.
Not every child responds in the same way to sexual abuse but consequences begin immediately.
Many of these children blame themselves, have trust issues and feel shameful, worthless, hopeless, angry and hostile.
Girls are more likely to develop eating disorders and have higher incidence of teen pregnancy. Adults who were sexually abused as children have high rates of excessive drug and alcohol use.
Akron Children's Hospital offers Stewards of Children, a child sexual abuse prevention program developed by the national non-profit Darkness to Light.
Stewards of Children raises awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of the abuse.
Participants are motivated to personally and professionally respond to child sexual abuse as they are made aware of the program's 6 central principles of:
Stewards of Children is a 3-hour interactive training program. Participants receive an interactive workbook to use during the training as a resource after the training.
They also watch a 90-minute video in which survivors of child sexual abuse appear, along with the curriculum's author and professionals who interact daily with the problems associated with sexual abuse.
Participants also receive a copy of the "7 Steps to Protecting Our Children" brochure, which is an evidence-based tool.
Audiences are limited to 25 participants per session to encourage discussion.
Colleen O'Connor, coordinator of the Summit County Children's Advocacy Center based at Akron Children's Hospital, is an authorized facilitator of Stewards of Children. To schedule a training or for more information, contact Colleen at 330-543-8456.
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