Child Sex Abuse Prevention

At the First Coast YMCA, it is our most important work to create safe spaces for children and teens to play, to learn, to be healthy, to discover who they are and what they can achieve, to eat well and to give back.

We are committed to doing everything we can to protect children physically and emotionally. This means educating ourselves and our community about child abuse and how we can work together to stop abuse.

  • One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
  • Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
  • 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.
  • False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.

When we know how abuse can happen, see the warning signs, and respond quickly to prevent it, we foster a culture of child abuse prevention. These three habits – KNOW. SEE. RESPOND. – can change a child’s life.

If you believe a child is being abused:

  • You do not need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child or adult, or both. Or, you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them.
  • Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or state child protective services.
  • Contact the Darkness to Light Helpline at 866-FOR-LIGHT or text LIGHT to 741741 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.