Since launching a new strategy to prevent child sexual abuse in Colorado just last month, more than 500 Coloradans have signed up to help our state reach a tipping point where children grow up happy, healthy and safe in communities that prevent children from experiencing sexual abuse.
The Tipping Point Initiative encourages all Coloradans to take Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® training, the only evidence-informed, adult-focused child sexual abuse prevention program in the United States proven to increase knowledge and change behavior. Adults learn how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse and feel empowered to spread their knowledge within the community.
The initiative incorporates a number of perspectives from the more than 80 local authorized facilitators throughout Colorado including staff from Illuminate Colorado, who have been promoting this training for several years. Together, more than 7,000 people in Colorado have been trained, which is no small feat, but it is a far cry from reaching the necessary critical milestone in child protection that is needed to effectively prevent child sexual abuse in Colorado.
Four authorized facilitators sat down to share their perspectives on why Coloradans in all communities, including their own, should get involved:
Hollie Reinhart, a Forensic Interviewer with Denver Children’s Advocacy Center, says “down the line, my job is to have less kids to interview.” She adds that this evidence-based training is for everyone. “It’s not just for professionals, but it’s also for parents. It’s also for people in the community.”
“What excites me in a small community—In small counties—is that number is very doable, that we can reach that tipping point,” says Lisa Thomas, the Collaborative Management Program Coordinator at Kiowa County Public Health. “Any agency that hasn’t had the training, any group that wants to bring this training to them—we can make that happen for you. We can help your community to reach that tipping point. And we can make a change to the lives of our children.”
Marty Sos, a dad, grandparent and CASA volunteer, is an avid supporter of the training, saying “there are things that people need to learn to prevent child sexual abuse and if I can go out and get more people interested in that, I can make a difference.” The training has also had an impact on his family. “The first thing I did (after the training) was I went to talk to my kids about this—my daughter who has a child, my two boys who have children—and I said you know what, these are things you need to be aware of.”
Claudia Gilbert, a Bilingual Prevention Education Associate at Blue Sky Bridge and mother of two children, thinks this training is essential for all parents and community members, and wishes she would have had the training sooner. “I would have loved to have done the workshop when my kids were younger…because a lot of the suggestions in the workshop about how to protect your children and prevent them from becoming victims of abuse is to start working with them when they’re young…”
The training is available both online and in-person, depending on local public health guidance. It is available in English and Spanish and approved nationally for two hours of continuing education for many professionals including nurses, social workers, dentists and dental hygienists.
Help us create a new standard of child safety in your community and throughout Colorado.
Visit TipColorado.org to learn more.
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