Originally published in The Vacaville Reporter on March 30, 2016 By Kimberly Fu.
Kimberly K. Fu — The Reporter Vacaville Community Services Commissioner Christina Baird talks about the Darkness to Light training program, which helps to highlight the prevention of child sexual abuse.
She’s a mom, an advocate, a businesswoman and a Vacaville Community Services commissioner, and in honor of April being a double whammy — it’s both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month — Christina Baird is offering her expertise to help keep kids safe.
Certified with the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children® Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training program, Baird offers the two-hour training for free. Participants need only pay for their interactive workbooks, which costs about $11.
Certified about two years ago, Baird has since trained dozens of groups throughout Solano County including Aldea Children & Family Services, Lift 3, Boys & Girls Clubs in Vacaville and Vallejo, local Soroptimist and Optimist clubs, Brandman University and more.
She advocates that any group or entity that works with children receive the training as it not only brings awareness to signs of possible existing sexual abuse but also shines a light of potential abuse, allowing for prevention.
The Darkness to Light training, she said, strengthens the community and keeps kids safe. The Stewards of Children® training is based on “The 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children.”
“Protecting children is of the utmost importance and April reminds us that child sexual abuse is a threat to children in all communities,” she said. “Adults should learn the facts about child sexual abuse and be prepared to intervene to protect the children in their lives.”
The training also protects adults, she added, as you learn to set boundaries , like no one-on-one time, from the beginning so negative issues don’t arise.
“I think it’s important, it’s very important,” she said. “It seems like more people are open (to the training) and more people reach out to me.”
Baird encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Solano County a better place for children and families.
“Together we can prevent child sexual abuse by ensuring that adults have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to prevent, recognize and react responsibly,” she continued. “One in 10 children experiences the trauma of child sexual abuse before age 18, typically at the hands of someone they know and trust. As adults, we are responsible for protecting children and educating ourselves to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.”
For more information or to schedule a training, contact Baird at 738-9962 or firstname.lastname@example.org.