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In Effort to Prevent Childhood Sexual Abuse, Stoughton Employees Taking Specialized Training

Various town employees, including the entire Stoughton Fire Department, have recently had the chance to attend Darkness to Light training sessions, which is dedicated to teaching adults simple, pro-active steps to help protect children from sexual abuse.

In partnership with the , dozens of Stoughton town employees and community members have been receiving training in the Darkness to Light Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Program.

is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching adults simple, pro-active steps to help protect children from sexual abuse, according to a March 28 Stoughton Patch article.

"Child sexual abuse is not a Y problem, or a school problem, or a church problem or a Penn State problem: it is a community problem, something which will only be mitigated by the education of adults making informed choices for children," said , a Darkness to Light facilitator since 2006.

The two and a half hour training session consists of both a video presentation and group discussions. The training session reveals:

  • 1 in every 4 girls/1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by their 18th birthday
  • The median age of sexual abuse is 9
  • 30-40% are abused by family members
  • 60% are abused by someone they know

In March, a group of administrators, nurses and coaches in the took the training. Public training sessions have also been offered at the Stoughton YMCA. There are more school trainings scheduled for November, during professional development days, Hausman said.

Last week, Hausman trained about 20 town employees at . This week, employees of the town's recreation department will be trained.

"We are working on arranging more town trainings for various departments," Hausman said.

Another town department to receive the Darnkess to Light training is the . Over the course of four mornings at the end of May, Christine Iacobucci, also a Darnkess to Light facilitator, trained Stoughton's 44 firefighters.

"Nobody understands better than firefighters how lack of preparation in the face of crisis can worsen an already dangerous situation. Imagine firefighters charging into burning buildings with no plan, no knowledge of how best to navigate the flames and evoke the best possible outcomes. That would be disaster," Hausman said.

"Would a firefighter come to your home to review your space and help you with your own, personal fire prevention plan? Of course, and willingly. He (or she) would likely do just about anything to educate the public and help prevent a fire in the first place," she continued.

"Child sexual abuse is no different than a fire: adults need to be armed with a plan, knowing how to react when they discover it in their midst and, just as importantly, they need to know the things they can do right now that might help prevent it in the first place."

Hausman credited the Stoughton Fire Department for taking this initiative.

"When 44 of Stoughton's bravest - our firefighters - stepped up last month to take the two and a half hour Darkness To Light Stewards of Children abuse prevention training offered by Old Colony YMCA, it was no surprise. These already deeply respected members of our community forged ahead and set another great example of turning intention into action," she said.

"My hat is off to our firefighters, already guardian angels for our community, for stepping up and adding child sexual abuse prevention and response training to their armor for keeping our kids safer and helping each and every one grow up healthy, happy and whole."

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