Little Warriors is bringing its child sexual abuse Prevention Program to Cranbrook for three sessions starting at the end of January.
The program teaches parents, caregivers, volunteers, teachers – anyone who has children in their lives – how to react to, prevent and recognize the characteristics of child sexual abuse.
Glori Meldrum, founder and chair of Little Warriors and herself a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, said the program provides the skills to eliminate risk and recognize a child that may be abused.
“Obviously the risk is a lot higher if the child is alone with one adult,” Meldrum said. “It really is all about prevention.”
The three-hour program will be held January 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., March 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and April 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“For every one person we train it helps 10 kids,” Meldrum said.
The program is for anyone with any interaction with children such as family members, caregivers, teachers, coaches, professionals and volunteers. Statistics from Little Warriors predict that one in three girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday and 95 per cent of them will know their perpetrator.
Little Warriors trains about 600 adults a month across Canada. Based in Edmonton, the charity is currently fundraising to build a treatment centre called the Be Brave Rance. Meldrum said they are $2 million shy of their goal, but once the centre opens it will help children across the country.
Meldrum herself was abused as a child, and she remembers changing from the sweet and caring girl she was. She hopes that more adults will be able to recognize the symptoms she illustrated after her abuse.
“I’m a survivor so that’s why I started Little Warriors,” she said. To Meldrum’s knowledge, the program has yet to hold a workshop in Cranbrook. There are currently 100 trainers across the country that deliver the program.
The cost of the workshop is $30 or $25 for groups of two or more, which goes towards program costs. Each attendee will receive a manual and certificate. It will be facilitated by a local authorized facilitator. For more information visit www.littlewarriors.ca or call 1 888 440-1343.