An adult's responsibility
Over the past few weeks, multiple incidents of adult misconduct against children have appeared in the media. It is these types of situations that bring attention to an issue that is all too pervasive in our communities.
As adults, we can work together to prevent harm to children in many different ways:
- Create environments that support healthy development in children – normalize conversations with children about empathy, anatomy, development, healthy relationships, and boundary setting.
- It is our responsibility to recognize situations that feel uncomfortable and articulate our concerns. If something feels off, try to put words to what feels off and why. Oftentimes, we overthink a situation and talk ourselves out of doing something.
- Respond to boundary violations or other situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Describe the behavior, set a limit, and move on. It is not about confrontations or accusations, but merely letting other adults know that our children are surrounded by caring and aware adults who will step in the gap to protect children and prevent abuse.
- Remember, if you suspect child abuse or neglect, call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) to report your concerns.
- Check to see if the youth serving organizations in your area – including schools, churches, recreation centers, sports leagues, summer/day camps, child care facilities, etc – have policies to prevent child abuse. Be aware and involved in advocating for safe spaces for children in our communities. If an organization does not have policies in place, they can contact Illuminate for more information.
Children and youth are not in a position, nor should they be, to prevent abuse, and we must be their voice. When we can put aside our own uneasiness, get support from those around us, and stand up for children and youth, we can make a difference.
Want to better recognize boundary violations and build skills to protect children?
Learn more from Illuminate, HERE.
Jade Woodard – Executive Director, Illuminate Colorado
Ms. Woodard has served as the Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado since its inception, following 7 years as the Executive Director of founding partner agency, the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Ms. Woodard has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She is responsible for all program and financial oversight, including staff and contractor management, adherence to timelines, and accomplishment of goals and objectives. Ms. Woodard capitalizes on her collaborative nature and strong communication skills to ensure successful project execution and sustainability.
Anne Auld – Director of Programs, Illuminate Colorado
Ms. Auld serves as the Director of Programs for Illuminate Colorado. She leads the Child Abuse Prevention and Training aspects of the organization, including our work on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign, and all associated education and outreach. In addition, Ms. Auld oversees the Child Abuse and Neglect Expert Staffing project. Ms. Auld is an authorized trainer in Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children; certified trainer in Kempe Center Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Prevention of Sexually Abusive Behaviors in Childhood and Adolescence; Nurturing Healthy Sexual Development; Overcoming Barriers, and The Period of PURPLE Crying® from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. She is a trainer for the Colorado Child Welfare Training System on substance use and child maltreatment and has presented at national and international conferences on related issues. Ms. Auld has a Bachelor’s in Psychology.