Preventing child abuse

New initiative provides training in child abuse prevention

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4:03 p.m., May 21, 2012--A new program to train members of the UD community in the prevention of child sexual abuse is being offered this spring and summer by the University’s Office of Human Resources, Employee Education and Development unit.

The Stewards of Children program provides important information on how to identify victims of child sexual abuse, situations in which such abuse is likely to occur and strategies for protecting children from abuse. 

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According to Stewards of Children, an estimated one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9, but most child victims never report the abuse.

"The prevention of sexual abuse of children is an important issue for all members of our University community," says Jennifer (J.J.) Davis, vice president for finance and administration. "This valuable training is especially crucial for individuals who have routine contact with young children. I would also encourage others in our community to take advantage of this worthwhile training."

In the training, a facilitator leads the discussion as participants learn the signs of sexual abuse, how to prevent it and how to react responsibly when abuse is uncovered. 

More than 150 employees in Athletics, Public Safety and UD Police have already been trained, and Employee Education and Development is working with other academic and administrative units to train specific employee groups who have been identified. 

For example, staff working at the Early Learning Center and in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies will be receiving training in June. Residence Life will be incorporating the training into its fall orientation program this summer. 

General sessions for other interested UD employees are scheduled in May and June, with additional sessions planned later in the summer.

Currently general sessions are planned from 10-1 p .m., Thursday, May 31; from 1-4 p.m., Thursday, June 7; and from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, June 27. 

To sign up for a session, visit EED's registration website

Delaware state law requires those who witness or know about child abuse to report it to authorities. Last fall, UD's Office of General Counsel provided information to the campus community about Delaware's Child Abuse Protection act. 

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