Free Training to Prevent Abuse: Advocacy Center Grows Prevention Efforts


BY SARAH ELMS | June 16, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY — One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center officials know the statistic well, and they’re reaching out to area adults to help keep children safe.

They’ve created a core team of about 20 volunteers certified to provide child sexual abuse prevention training to adults at schools, businesses or volunteer organizations in the Grand Traverse region.

“This is happening everywhere in every community including our own, and it is really time to help adults in our community to understand this issue and that it is their responsibility to keep (children) safe,” said Hannah Rodriguez, the center’s prevention coordinator.

Jayne Mohr, a retired educator and the advocacy center’s board chairwoman, is a member of the new team of trainers. She said it’s important for adults to take responsibility for the heath and safety of children, who are often too young to stand up for themselves.

The training will give adults the education they need to recognize the signs of abuse in children and the tools to act responsibly.

“Obtaining the skills to do something about it and to take those next steps is what we’re really shooting for,” Rodriguez said.

The training is free through a partnership with the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, and anyone can get involved. Rodriguez encourages interested groups to contact the center and set up a training session.

“It’s up to adults to talk to their children, to talk to one another, and to say as a community, ‘this is not OK with us,'” she said. “We’re a community committed to making the health and safety of our children a priority.”

Call 231-929-4250 for more information or to schedule a training session.