Crook, Jefferson counties at child abuse prevention ‘tipping point’

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Excerpt from KTVZ.com

KIDS Center said Monday it has reached a tipping point in creating new standards of child safety by training 5 percent of the adult population in our families, schools, and youth-serving organizations with Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children®” child sexual abuse prevention program.

They said this lays the foundation for a proactive, community-wide approach to prevention and builds momentum toward educating and empowering all adults to protect children from abuse.

Tipping points occur when issues gain momentum and ignite, and a relatively small amount of people can effect change on a societal level. Building upon Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point research, Darkness to Light encourages every community to educate five percent of its population to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, providing a foundation for widespread social change.

“Five percent is a small, attainable goal that has dramatic effect on community prevention efforts,” said Darkness to Light Director of Programs Cindy McElhinney. “This is the point when we see training initiatives take a life of their own, and we applaud KIDS Center and Crook County for their efforts to create a community where children can grow and thrive.”

Statistics for child sexual abuse are startling. In the United States alone, one in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18, making this likely the most prevalent health problem children face, with the most serious array of consequences. In over 90% of incidents, children are abused by a trusted family member or friend.

In Crook County 1136 adults and in Jefferson County 1027 adults are trained to create environments that reduce the risk for abuse and allow children to live, learn, play, and worship in safety. In order to reach our tipping point in Deschutes County, we and need to train approximately 500 more adults.

KIDS Center has been training communities in Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children®” child sexual abuse prevention program since 2005.

“We are very proud of the over 8,500 adults in Central Oregon who have learned how to protect children from child sexual abuse through the Stewards of Children training. However, our work is not done. We have not reached the tipping point in Deschutes County, and even when we have reached that milestone, there is another 95% of adults in our community that can learn how to create a safer place for children.” said Kim Bohme, KIDS Center’s Prevention and Education Coordinator.

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