West Suburban YMCA Joins Five Days of Action to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse | West Suburban YMCA

West Suburban YMCA Joins Five Days of Action to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

Apr 14, 2023

The West Suburban YMCA is participating in the Five Days of Action, April 24-28, 2022. The Five Days of Action is a weeklong campaign to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse. The week will include staff training and pledge signing, providing family resources, and communication with membership and the community to raise awareness.

The West Suburban YMCA encourages adults and organizations to join in marking this special week as our community comes together to make the community a safer place for children to live, learn, and play. With summer right around the corner—when children gather for activities and camps, it is a wonderful time to bring attention to the simple ways we can all make the children in our community safer.

The Know. See. Respond. campaign is back this year, tying in three impact areas –preventing child sexual abuse at both summer camp and in youth sports, and internet safety.

“Children have the right to a happy and safe childhood, and it's our responsibility as adults and organizations to stand up to protect that right,” said Jack Fucci, President and CEO of the West Suburban YMCA. “By joining in the Five Days of Action campaign, we hope to inspire other organizations and members of our community to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.”

At the West Suburban YMCA, steps are taken to ensure a safe environment for every child who enters the building, enrolls in a program, or attends summer camp. These steps include pre-employment screenings that consist of a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check & Sexual Offender Registry Information (SORI) check, and comprehensive reference checks that include standardized questions for assessing risk for abuse. Once an employee is hired, they complete an extensive Child Abuse Prevention Training Program, which is repeated annually, and are mandated to report any suspected abuse. Policies exist to ensure that staff and volunteers are never alone with a child, and all interaction between staff and child must be observable and interruptible.

The West Suburban YMCA and the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, with support from YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation, and Praesidium have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.

Materials are derived from YMCA of the USA’s “Know. See. Respond.”


• One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
• 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
• Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
• 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.
• False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.

• You do not need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child or adult, or both. Or, you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them.
• Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or state child protective services.
• Contact the Darkness to Light Helpline at 866-FOR-LIGHT or text LIGHT to 741741 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.

For more information, visit wsymca.org/childcare/child-protection.