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YMCA Offering Free Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

North Suburban YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring a free sexual abuse training prevention program, Stewards of Children.

The local YMCA is teaming up with sexual abuse prevention experts to train local groups and parents to help protect children.

According to Katie Stinchon of the YMCA of Greater Boston said the statistics on sexual abuse are alarming. She said 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

In response, the North Suburban YMCA, located in Woburn, has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring a free sexual abuse training prevention program, Stewards of Children, to Lexington, Arlington, Burlington, Winchester and Woburn residents, according to a release.

"Stewards of Children is the only training workshop available nationally that is proven to increase knowledge and change child protection behavior in adults," a release on the program states.

When adults actively seek to make a difference, a cultural change can occur, the release states. The Y is working with schools, daycare centers, community organizations, faith groups, and parents to train community members to help keep children safe. The North Suburban YMCA is committed to educating and training 5,935 people in the community by the year 2017 using the Stewards of Children curriculum, designed by the Darkness to Light program and working to change alarming statistics and the overall conversation about child abuse to create a community of trained and aware adults.

Stewards of Children is a two and a half hour training session designed to educate adults on how to recognize, prevent, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse, emphasizing child safety as every adult’s responsibility. Three training hour credits are available to professionals.

 The next two sessions for Stewards of Children will take place Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the North Suburban YMCA, 137 Lexington St., Woburn.

Enrollment in the Stewards of Children training program for North Suburban YMCA members and community residents of Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Lexington and Arlington is free. Residents of neighboring communities can register for just $10 per person.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. Call the North Suburban YMCA to register at (781) 935-3270 or contact Jodi Crowley by phone (781) 305-2908 or email at, jcrowley@ymcaboston.org. When leaving a voicemail please leave your full name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.

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