Darkness to Light in Moberly, Missouri

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Moberly, Mo. – Roman Polanski’s long-ago rape of a drugged 13 year-old finally lands him in jail. Jaycee Duggard, imprisoned by a pedophile for more than a decade, is freed. Queen Latifah and Tom Arnold tell their stories of sexual abuse, and Michael Jackson’s death brings old allegations of abuse to the surface again.
What about here in our community?Does the unspeakable happen? The answer is “Yes”, yes it does. Every day, right here in our small towns, children are sexually molested and/or raped. Occasionally an adult is arrested and charged with the crime, but many times, no one even knows it happened. No one that is except for the young life that is forever changed due to the failure of the adults in our community to protect them.

Child sexual abuse has been in the headlines for months now and the result is public outrage. That’s welcome and long overdue, but it’s also irrelevant unless it becomes a springboard for public action to prevent these crimes from happening. More than 40 million adults in the U.S. are victims of child sexual abuse. It ranks second only to murder as the most expensive victim crime; costs for intervention and treatment surpass $35 billion annually. Victims suffer long after the abuse stops as sexual abuse is linked to teen pregnancy, psychiatric disorders, and substance abuse.

The cure; PREVENTION. It does not take hundreds of billions of dollars and laboratory research, but it does take responsible adults learning common-sense proactive steps to keep children safe. It also takes mobilizing an entire community.

Many youth serving organizations are required to carry molestation insurance. Prevention is a better policy than insurance. The national non-profit Darkness to Light provides this kind of training through affiliates in 47 states, and 10 foreign countries. The “Stewards of Children” – Adults Resolving Child Sexual Abuse training is an interactive prevention program developed to teach adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse and to take proactive steps to protect children.

Randolph County Caring Community provides an authorized facilitator to conduct this training to any community member, agency, business, or organization within Randolph County to prevent the occurrence of child sexual abuse. A training this expansive usually comes at a cost of approximately $25 per participant. Through a grant from the Missouri Children’s Trust fund, and in partnership with Coates Street Presbyterian Church, a special training will be offered on April 19th at NO CHARGE. The maximum registration for this training will be 25 participants.

The training will be held at the church from 5:30 – 8p.m.

The Stewards of Children training allows participants to:
•Hear stories from survivors of child sexual abuse regarding their victimization and healing and learn from their experiences.
•Learn “The 7 Steps to Protecting Our Children”, the core educational tool for sexual abuse prevention.
•Receive a workbook detailing simple principles.
•Be challenged to take personal responsibility for the safely of all children.
Throughout the month of April, many community activities and events will be held surrounding the issue of the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Some specific facts surrounding child sexual abuse are:
•1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
•1 in 5 children is sexually solicited on the internet.
•In more than 90% of the cases, the child’s family knows and trusts the abuser.
•Most child victims never report the abuse.
How with facts like these can we not continue to motivate more adults? Our children deserve an investment of 2 ½ hours of our time to protect their innocence and well-being.

To register, please contact Shelly @ Caring Community 660-263-7173 ext 3, or Wally Landrum at 263-4571.

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