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April 16, 2013     Cape Gazette
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,n, 20 TUESDAY, APRIL 16 - THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 Cape Gazette Stewards of Children training set Tuesday, April 23 in Lewes By Rachel Swick Mavity fight child sex abuse, said Nikki rachel@capegazette.com Mowbray, director of Stewards of Children with the YMCA of National statistics are well Delaware. established: One in four girls and Cheri Will, a registered nurse one in six boys will be sexually and sexual assault/domestic abused before they are 18 years violence coordinator at Beebe old. Medical Center, said one impor- Of those abused children, one tant aspect of the Stewards of in three will become an abuser. Children workshops is that they Stewards of Children, a na- focus on training adults. tionally recognized program "1 developed by South Carolina- LIKE THAT THIS HOLDS based Darkness To Light, offers ADULTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR Concrete steps adults can take to prevent child abuse. KEEPING KIDS SAFE." The organization will host a - CHERI WILL workshop 5:30-8:30 p.m.,Tuesday, REGISTERED NURSE April 23, at the Lewes Public Li- brary as part of statewide events "This isn't for kids; it's for to mark Child Abuse Prevention adults," Will said. "I like that Month. this holds adults accountable for The Stewards of Children pro- keeping kids safe." gram emphasizes seven steps: Learning the signs of abuse learning and understanding the is key: aggression, not wanting facts, minimizing opportunities to go with someone, sadness or for abuse, talking about it, staying depression, acting out sexually alert to potential warning signs, with dolls or other children and making a plan to react, acting on genital bruising or bleeding. suspicions and getting involved "One of the big things we say in support organizations that is that most abuse occurs in one child-one adult scenarios," said Will. "So we focus on removing those scenarios when one child is with one adult." One of the ways Mowbray sug- gests preventing child abuse is by teaching children important lessons before bad people can teach them first. Research has shown that the first lesson chil- dren learn is the one that sticks with them, Will said. "If you give children the infor- mation first, they will remember that lesson," Will said. "In a crisis situation, it is that first informa- tion that children go back to, so they will remember parents tell- ing them not to keep secrets as long as they had that lesson first." With the arrest and convic- tion of pedophile pediatrician Earl Bradley, the state stepped up efforts to bring Stewards of Children training to parents in the Cape Region whose children were abused by Bradley. Some material included in the workshops could apply directly to Bradley: ' busers often be- come friendly with potential victims and their families, en- joying family activities, earning trust and gaining alone time with children." Other examples include, "Peo- RACHEL SWICK MAVITY PHOTO A WORKSHOP TO TRAIN ADULTS to know the signs of child abuse will be held in Lewes. The workshops are coordinated by Nikki Mowbray, director of the Stewards of Children program in Delaware, left, and Cheri Will, regis- tered nurse and child abuse/domestic violence coordinator at Beebe Medi- cal Center. pie who abuse children look and There are 60 trained facilita- act just like everyone else. In fact, tors in Delaware who provide the they often go out of their way to workshops. While the facilita- appear trustworthy to gain ac- tors are volunteers, the training cess to children." sessions cost participants $10 to Funded by a $10,000 grant cover the workbook. from YMCA of Delaware and by Registration is not required federal and state funds, Prevent for the Lewes workshop. To find Child Abuse Delaware aims to out more information about train 35,000 people throughout the workshops or to schedule a the state by 2015, said Mowbray. workshop for an organization, About 8,600 people have been contact Mowbrey at 302-254- trained since 2011. YMCA, Ext. 133. "We don't have to rip down For more information on the buildings and build buildings national program, go to www. with all-glass walls. We can use d21.org/site/cAdICIJOkGcISE/ the knowledge we have to mini- b.6243681/k.86C/ mize risks to children," Mowbray Child_Sexual Abuse Preven- said. tion Training.htm. The lighting of Legislative the potential-to save a life, but Hall in blue, the symbolic color also gives a voice to vulnerable of child abuse prevention, for children in need." the first week of April has been "While we continue to raise just one of the activities sched- awareness about the obligation uled for National Child Abuse to report any suspicions that a Prevention Month. child is at risk of harm, we also The Delaware Children's believe it's important to support Department in partnership strategies and interventions to with the Attorney General's limit that risk in the first place," Office and child advocacy or- said Department of Services ganizations such as the Child for Children, Youth and Fami- Protection Accountability Com- lies Cabinet Secretary Jennifer mission, and the Child Death, Ranji. Near Death and Stillbirth Corn- Other activities highlighting mission is highlighting not only awareness in April include a the importance of recognizing meeting held April 8 to encour- and reporting suspected child age youth-serving organizations abuse and neglect, but the pre- to sign up for Stewards of Chil- ventive steps families can take dren prevention training, and to reduce the risk that such a Blue Bow awareness event things will happen, and proclamation signing with "We all have a responsibil- Markell Thursday, April 25, ity to ensure our children are in front of Legislative Hall in safe," said Gov. lack Markell. Dover. "Reporting suspected child Stewards of Children, co- abuse or neglect not only has ordinated locally by Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, is a portant focus for the Children's program for youth-serving and Department. community organizations that That's why the department's teaches adults how to prevent, Division of Family Services is recognize and react responsibly promoting awareness of Help and abuse diminish. to child sexual abuse.. Me Grow, coordinated by the The six protective factors Markell is encouraging Del- Division of Public Health's Bu- are nurturing and attachment; awareans to learn the signs reau of Maternal and Child knowledge of parenting and of of abuse and neglect by visit- Health. Help Me Grow is a mul- child and youth development; ing www.iseethesigns.org, and tisector partnership that helps parental resilience; social con- make the call to the 24-hour connect families of children nections; concrete supports Report Line at 1-800-292-9582 from birth through age 8 with for parents; and social and to report concerns, a variety of services includ- emotional developmental well- ing home visits by a trained being. "REPORTING SUSPECTED " professional with expertise in The Children's Department CHILD ABUSEORNEGLECT breastfeeding, nutrition, new- is addressing these factors born care, child safety and through its partnership with NOT ONLY HAS THE more. Help Me Grow. Additional POTENTIAL TO SAVE A LIFE, Families can talk with a Help hands-on prevention tips for BUT ALSO GIVES A VOICE TO Me Grow call specialist by dealing with stress, and parent- dialing 2-1-1, which is a free cen- ing babies, toddlers and teens VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN tralized phone line statewide, can be found on www.iseethe- NEED." According to the Child Wel- signs.org as well. fare Information Gateway, by The Delaware Children's De- - GOV. JACK MARKELL ensuring that parents have the partment provides services to knowledge, skills and resourc- childrenwho have been abused, With calls to the Report Line es they need to care for their neglected, are dependent, have at historicallyhighlevelS (more children, everyone can help mental health or substance than 16,000 calls were made promote children's social and abuse problems, or have been to report suspected abuse and emotional well-being and pre- adjudicated delinquent by the neglect in 2012), early iden- vent child maltreatment,courts, as well as prevention tification of the risk of child Research shows when par-services. abuse and providing prevention entspossess six protective For more information, visit strategies for families is an ira- factors, the risks for neglect www.kids.delaware.gov.