Educating about child sexual abuse

One in 10 children is sexually abused, most commonly by someone known to the family or the child. Darkness to Light aims to spread awareness and cut the numbers.

The statistics are sobering: one in ten children is sexually abused by agre 18, and most commonly it's not 'stranger danger,' but a relative or someone known to the family.

Darkness to Light is a program, just introduced in Onondaga County, that offers an awareness course for adults under its Stewards of Children outreach.

Hal Welsh, CEO of the YMCA Greater Syracuse, is an advocate for the program, and has set up a partnership with Vera House and McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy to present the courses (click the link Darkness to Light link, above, to see where and when the two hour sessions are being offered).

Welsh says the education is an eye-opener: besides the number of children being abused (one in 10), it is often a relative, sports coach or other trusted person who is the abuser, setting up difficult situations for adults, and tragic ones for the child. The course teaches what to look out for, how to prevent abuse, and what to do to get help.

The goal is to educate 18,000 Onondaga County adult residents by 2020, to make the community more aware of the problem, and how to tackle it.