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Partners in Prevention

YMCAs in New Jersey have a vision of a world free of child sexual abuse. A world in which all children are loved, protected, nurtured and able to grow up healthy.



Experts estimate one in 10 children – or 400,000 each year – will experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. At the Y, we know that ending child sexual abuse takes a cooperative community effort. That’s why we’ve partnered with Darkness to Light, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization and creators of the award-winning Stewards of Children™ curriculum. Prevention training for staff, volunteers and parents creates a culture of awareness. This program teaches adults to recognize the signs of sexual abuse in children, identify unsafe behaviors by adults and react responsibly if warning signs exist. Prevention training for adults creates an environment with much less opportunity for those who may offend.



“The research has shown that 5% is the critical point for positive change in the community, so the Ys in New Jersey have set a goal to educate 5% of adults in the communities we serve,” said Dana Collins, Executive Director of Child Care and Camp.

To join us in our cause, you can attend a Stewards of Children workshop in-person at the Y. “We will be working with youth sports organizations, school districts, faith centers and non-profits to help facilitate change,” said Collins. Local businesses, large or small, are encouraged to participate. Online training is available for New Jersey residents. Continuing education credits for professionals in various fields can be obtained through this training.


“As Social Responsibility is one of the Ys Key areas of focus, we are committed to developing community-based solutions that unite people to participate in and work for positive social change,” said Tim Kerrihard, President/CEO. “By partnering with Darkness to Light, we will educate and empower adults to become agents of change to protect children from sexual abuse.”



83,000 adults will become agents of change to protect the well-being of children we love.


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