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Arnold Fire and Emergency Services employees complete training to prevent child abuse

Fire and Emergency Services members at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., start their child abuse awareness training Nov. 23, 2021, with a quiz on how to recognize the signs of abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Deidre Moon)

The Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center presented several child abuse prevention training sessions at Arnold Fire and Emergency Services in November.

About 40 employees serving at Arnold Fire and Emergency Services took the training. They strengthened their knowledge about child sexual abuse prevention.

“Taking this training shows dedication to keeping children in our community safe and thriving,” said Joyce Prusak, executive director of the Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). “We are so thankful to Arnold Fire and Emergency Services employees for learning more about protecting children. Participants in the training studied the red flags associated with child sexual abuse. They gained additional knowledge and tools to help them recognize child sexual abuse and stop it. Taking this training shows that management and employees of Arnold Fire and Emergency Services are deeply committed to doing what’s necessary to keep children safe.”

The training sessions at Arnold Fire and Emergency Services were held in November. The training and the materials were free for participants thanks to a grant awarded to the Coffee County CAC and to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

About the training

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The Coffee County CAC offers training programs for adults, empowering them to recognize, prevent and respond appropriately to child abuse.

“We offer these programs free to Coffee County organizations and any interested parties,” Prusak said.

“Our authorized facilitators use Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children program to fight child abuse through education and eliminating the stigma that affects conversations about child abuse. Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children program trains adults to react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program aims to eliminate child abuse through training adults to recognize and prevent child abuse.” Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children programs are “the only evidence-informed, adult-focused child sexual abuse prevention trainings proven to increase knowledge and change behavior,” according to www.d2l.org.

Child sexual abuse involves sexual contact between a child and an adult; or a sexual contact between a child and another child who forces sexual contact. Statistics show that one in 10 children will be sexually abused by age 18; and 95% of victims are abused by someone they know and trust.

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Coffee County CAC offers Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training free for community members. The two-hour training is available in-person or online and is presented by a Darkness to Light authorized facilitator.

For more information about training or to schedule a training session, please email Elena Cawley elena@coffeecountycac.org. Learn more about the training by visiting coffeecountycac.org.

About Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center

When the most vulnerable members of the community are harmed, they find a safe place and support at the Coffee County CAC. Coffee County CAC is a nonprofit serving children who have experienced severe abuse. The organization’s goal is to end child abuse through prevention, education and intervention. Learn more about the Coffee County CAC by visiting www.coffeecountycac.org.

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