Onondaga County outreach to end child sexual abuse

Community leaders committing to training to spot child sexual abuse. Vera House's Randi Bregman is signing up, Undersheriff Warren Darby is next---the campaign hopes 18,000 Onondaga County adults do the same

A training workshop is the latest effort in Onondaga County to end child sexual abuse.

The YMCA and the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center are offering training workshops to help adults recognize the signs or child abuse, and to help them do something about it.

Area businessman Dan Leonard, who has spoken out on his own victimization by an abusing football coach, spoke at this morning's campaign launch, saying it's a step towards prevention instead of just helping the victims.

1 in 10 children is sexually abused by their 18th birthday, and 93% know their abusers. Leonard says that, like in his case, family members usually know 'there's a problem' but don't know how to handle it.

A two hour training course, which includes a video presentation, aims to open the conversation, and help adults deal with difficult situations to protect children. Both the YMCA and McMahon/Ryan are offering the courses.

At the kickoff, community leaders signed up, committing their organizations to the training, and to being more vigilant.

Amond them, Syracuse Parks Commissioner Baye Muhammad, who promises all parks employees (including lifeguards) will be involved.

Watch part of the training video, being distributed by Darkness to Light.

The training courses cost $15 and you can register at, which has several courses scheduled from fid-May to mid-July. Businesses can also sign up in behalf of their employees.

The goal: to get 18,000 adults in Onondaga County trained---5% of the population---by 2020.