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New Risk Watch Program to Provide Prevention Education in Local Schools

College girl donating blood at the Red Cross

Champaign School District Unit 4, Urbana School District 116, Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign-Urbana Fire Departments, Champaign-Urbana Police Departments, Savoy fire department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, American Red Cross and Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services (RACES) announce a new Risk Watch program to assist the school districts with a new mandate for prevention education.

Starting in school year 2014, all school districts must educate students and parents on inappropriate touching of children. The mandate is adopted to be in compliance with Erin’s Law, which is named for a child sexual assault survivor. It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be the victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. Prevention education is the focus of the school presentations.

Champaign County Risk Watch Coalitions provide safety education/ injury prevention programs in both the Champaign and Urbana school districts.  They will be adding experts into the Risk Watch program to address this issue and adhere to the Law for the school systems. Due to child abduction and inappropriate touching, the Risk Watch coalitions combined Erin’s law with Stranger Danger and created a Body Safety module for the schools.

American Red Cross and Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services (RACES) developed this module, using their expertise from their respective fields. The format for this education in the schools is an interactive skit provided to the schools by experts from both of these organizations.

For the education of concerned parents and adults American Red Cross and RACES, as a member of the county Risk Watch team, are providing a Darkness to Light presentation, which covers identification, notification, and prevention measures for adults. 

The informational meeting on this presentation will be at Champaign Public Library on August 13, 2014 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Members of the Coalition who will be in attendance to answer questions for the public include RACES, American Red Cross, Carle Foundation Hospital Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, police department and fire department representatives.

There will be an in-depth training for adults who work with children on August 27, 2014 at the Champaign Public Library from 6:00pm to 8:30 pm. Interested persons should call RACES at 217-344-6298 or American Red Cross at 217-351-5861 X 7341to reserve a seat for the training. Space is limited, so it is suggested that participants call early to secure a spot in the class.