Prince William Resident Trains Community Members to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

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Provided by SCAN of Northern Virginia

Tracy Leonard is a nonprofit professional, a mother and—since 2015—a child sexual abuse prevention trainer. Since joining the staff at SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia, based in Alexandria, she has trained more than 500 individuals in a curriculum known as Stewards of Children. The training, developed by national organization Darkness to Light, focuses on empowering adults to recognize, react and respond to child sexual abuse.

One in ten children will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, and for 90% of victims the abuse is at the hands of someone they know.

“As adults, we need to understand our responsibility to protect children,” says Leonard. “And that means we need to educate and empower every adult to be both alert and willing and ready to take action when they have a concern.”

In 2017, Leonard is scheduled to provide trainings in collaboration with the Child Protection Partnership of Prince William County in April. Other locations in Prince William that have had the training include Prince William County DSS, Northern Virginia Family Services, Minnieland, Freedom Aquatics Center, PWCS Head Start, the Boys and Girls Club, and Manassas Park Parks and Recreation. Since 2013, SCAN facilitators have trained more than 1,300 individuals across Northern Virginia, from childcare providers and school employees to staff members at places of worship and rec centers.

“The Stewards of Children training is an effective way to start the discussion in your community, as well as provide concrete tools and steps for organizations to invest in protecting the children under their care.

To schedule a training, please contact Tracy Leonard at [email protected] or call 703-820-9001 x 111.

At SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia, our vision is that every child in Northern Virginia will grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports they need to contribute to stronger communities today and as adults tomorrow. SCAN is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect by: EDUCATING the community about the scope, nature and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; PROVIDING direct parent education; and ADVOCATING for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.

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