Child sex abuse prevention program launches in Douglas County

The goal is to have 5% of Douglas County’s population trained to identify warning signs in the next few years.

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 6:28 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Local health professionals have launched a new program in Douglas County dedicated to preventing child sex abuse in the area.

The program is called Darkness to Light Stewards of Children and is being led by Adapt Health and Compass Behavioral Health in Roseburg.

“It is often in the darkness, hence the name darkness to light,” said program organizer Angel Reeves. “It brings to light the terrible things that are happening in the darkness that we can help reduce and end.”

Reeves is also a licensed marriage and family therapist at Adapt. She is spearheading the project with prevention program director Cati Adkins.

They said the program is piggybacking off the national Darkness to Light program, which aims to prevent child sex abuse on a national level.

“What’s very unique about it is that it really puts the burden on adults to protect our children,” said Adkins.

Adkins and Reeves told KEZI 9 News that the primary component is hosting trainings within the community about child sex abuse prevention. They said the trainings will teach participants how to identify warning signs through behavior.

They are reaching out to local businesses and companies right now to schedule trainings. They said this will help employees identify cases in public or in their own workplace.

“It’s only a couple of hours and it really helps to take the fear and stigma out of protecting children from child sex abuse,” said Adkins.

Adkins and Reeves said they plan to expand to other places, like schools and churches. They said the goal is to have 5% of Douglas County’s population trained in the next few years.

“We are just so thrilled to fight a cause like this. It’s honestly the most noble work we can do,” said Reeves.

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