YMCA Focuses on 5 Days of Action to help prevent Child Sexual Abuse

11 April 2022
5 Days of Action

YMCA coming together to protect children from sexual abuse

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is participating in the Five Days of Action, April 18–22. Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse. The Y encourages adults and organizations to join in marking this special week as Hampton Roads comes together to make the community a safer place for children to live, learn, and play. As summer activities and camps are fast approaching, now is the perfect time to bring attention to the simple ways we can all make the children in our community safer.

To that end, the Y will be focusing on the simple steps of KNOW. SEE. RESPOND. to help adults better protect children. When adults know how abuse happens, see the warning signs, and respond quickly to prevent abuse, they foster a culture of child abuse prevention. Together, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and have important conversations about how we can all work together to prevent it from happening. 

“The children of Hampton Roads 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 Anthony Walters, President & CEO of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. “By joining in the Five Days of Action’s KNOW.SEE.RESPOND.campaign, we hope to inspire other organizations and members of our community to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads, with support from the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation, Praesidium, and the Monique Burr Foundation for Children 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.” copyrighted in 2020.


  • 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.