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YMCA of Delaware rallies to put the safety of children first

The YMCA of Delaware is rallying to put the safety of children first.

The Y is participating in the Five Days of Action through Friday.

“Five Days of Action is a national movement, which brings not only YMCA’s, but other community leaders who serve children and protect children - just to bring awareness to child abuse prevention; how to recognize, how to report and ultimately prevent child abuse,” said Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, president and CEO of the YMCA of Delaware.

She notes a few years ago, the YMCA of Delaware partnered with Darkness to Lightand other organizations to train 10,000 adults in the First State to spot child abuse and how to respond.

Bagatta-Bowles says with the Y’s summer camps opening next week now is the perfect time to bring attention to how adults at those camps can keep the children attending them safe.


“Every year we sign on and we communicate through all of our social media and our branches and the 100,000 people we serve around the State to just make sure that people are aware and just keep this top of mind - the safety of children comes first," said Bagatta-Bowles. "And we all need to be aware and protective of those children.”

She adds when adults know how abuse happens, see the warning signs and respond quickly, they foster a culture of child abuse prevention.


According to statistics from Darkness to Light - a nonprofit organization empowering adults to prevent child sex abuse - one in 10 children will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday and 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.


Bagatta-Bowles says the Y and its partners make material available to Delawareans to help them learn more about preventing child abuse.

Bagatta-Bowles says more information on preventative measures is available at the Five Days of Action website.


If you think someone is being abused, you can contact trained counselors at the Darkness of Light Helpline - at 866-For-Light.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.