The Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness organization of Hillsdale County will host a training event to teach adults who work with children how to prevent sexual abuse of children.
The event, called “Keeping Our Children Safe,” is part of CAPA’s Stewards of Children program and will be held on March 14.
“The Stewards of Children program is an evidence-informed, proactive approach to child sexual abuse prevention,” Executive Director of CAPA Christie Campbell said in an email.
Campbell said the training will take about two hours and includes an hour-long video called “Darkness to Light” that features stories from survivors of abuse, expert advice on how to recognize and prevent abuse, and practical guidance. In addition to the video, member training will feature a workbook and class discussions.
“You’ll learn the ‘Five Steps to Protecting Our Children’ and how they can be applied to keep our kids safe,” Campbell said in an email.
Court Appointed Special Advocate Program Coordinator Heather Upton will lead the program. Upton recently took similar training herself to prepare for facilitating this program. She said the survivors’ stories made this training stand out as one of the only programs she has done that struck her as realistic. She added that there was an element of hope to these stories as well.
“They’re not letting it define them. They’re wanting to get the word out there so that people know what to look for, and how to understand the struggle that people that have been sexually abused go through,” Upton said.
Upton added that she hopes the training will raise awareness in the community and help those who volunteer with CAPA to understand how to recognize and deal with situations such as these.
“It’s a topic that most people don’t want to talk about, and rightfully so, but it does happen, and I think it’s good to have that community awareness there,” Upton said.
The training is designed for adults who work with children but is open to all members of the community. Space is limited to a capacity of 25, but those interested can contact email@example.com or call 517 – 437-3100.