Saturday, April 10, 2010

Melrose Goes From Darkness To Light

Last year at this time Melrose, MA was reeling from the revelation that a Melrose YMCA staff member had been indicted on 20 charges of child rape. This year the town is taking a lead, pushing taboos aside, speaking up and out about child sexual abuse prevention. On April 29, Melrose will sponsor a town-wide Stewards of Children training, empowering 500 adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Toward that end, this past week, I trained 15 new Stewards facilitators. These new leaders will not only participate in the town-wide training, but also take Stewards back to their own youth-serving organizations, neighborhoods, businesses and friends to continue educating the adult population.
My hat is off to Mayor Rob Dolan and the great folks I've met from Melrose, at the Y and beyond, who are working so hard to get out the prevention message. Unlike so many organizations, communities and families who discover abuse in their midst, here there are no conspiracies of silence, not from the town or the Y. Because of that, and their conviction to do the right thing in the name of safety for children, many more children will have happy and whole childhoods and, ultimately, happy and whole lives.

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