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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristen Hogan YMCA of the Capital Area 225 923 0653 ext. 1104 khogan@ymcabr.org

YMCA Darkness to Light Press Event


The YMCA of the Capital Area advocates the protection of children from sexual abuse.
[BATON ROUGE, LA] In commencement of the Ys new Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children program, the YMCA of the Capital Area held a press event on Thursday, October 11, inviting the community to become advocates for children. The Darkness to Light program provides individuals with the knowledge and capability to prevent, recognize and react to child sexual abuse. As a nationally acclaimed program, Stewards of Children uses scientific data to improve the attitudes and behaviors toward child protection. Orchestrating the event, YMCA board members and staff, came together on Thursday to tell Baton Rouge their stance on child sexual abuse and promote the importance of education and training. YMCA of the Capital Area, CEO, Bob Jacobs recognized the shocking statistics on child sexual abuse. He asked that college football fans remember the one in four girls and one in six boys that are sexually abused before the age of 18, as they may sit amongst them in crowded Louisiana football stadiums. The YMCA takes child protection very seriously, said Jacobs. Children in every age, race and ethnic background are at risk. No one is excluded. Mayor-President Melvin Kip Holden also addressed the public telling a story he heard from a school counselor about a 14-year-old girl who spent her nights being constantly assaulted by her mothers boyfriend. That extrovert smiling face now turns to an introvert with a frown, he told the audience, asking them to perform a self-examination recalling when they had allowed child abuse to happen and never inferred. Always remember my friends, Holden addressed. Its better to light just one little candle then to stumble in the dark. Partnering with the YMCA, members of the Baton Rouge Children Advocacy Center attended to show support for the cause and recruit training facilitators.

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These are critical times in the fight against child abuse, said Sharon Pol, executive director of the Baton Rouge Children Advocacy Center, and the way to prevent it is by pure education and awareness. There is room for more partners in this important endeavor, we need to train as many people as possible to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors. To learn more on the Darkness to Light program or how to become a Steward of Children visit ymcabr.org/protect ### About the Y: The YMCA of the Capital Area celebrates 95 years of continuous service to our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Throughout our parish the Y engages over 5,000 individuals annually regardless of income or background- in hopes to nurture the potential of children, improve the nations health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors. Anchored by the support of our volunteers, the Y has the long standing relationship and physical presence not just to promise, but deliver, lasting personal and social change. Find out more by visiting www.ymcabr.org.