• Child Safety Matters Expands to Include Athlete Safety Matters

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    September 27, 2021
    The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) has had its Child Safety Matters prevention programs in place for the past several years. They have gone into Okaloosa and Walton counties schools and reached around 37,000 K through 12 students each year in 66 different schools during this time.

    The nation has recently witnessed the sexual abuse testimonies of several young female Olympians before Congress about how long it took to hold accountable the now imprisoned former physician, Larry Nassar, and his collaboration with the USA Gymnastics organization. It took years for these abuses to come to the public’s attention. These brave Olympians, including famous gymnast Simone Biles, have called attention to the inaction of many professional adults involved who didn’t listen and delayed taking legal action against Nassar.  

    This situation reinforced ECCAC’s need to do something about it in the local community. Armed with the knowledge that 95% of child abuse is preventable through education and awareness, ECCAC is about to expand their Child Safety Matters with another timely prevention program, Athlete Safety Matters. These are programs initiated by the Monique Burr Foundation For Children, based in Florida.

    Athlete Safety Matters is a comprehensive curriculum that educates and empowers youth athletes with information and strategies to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to bullying, cyberbullying, all types of abuse, and digital dangers. The program is presented to youth athletes clustered by grade levels K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Trained facilitators can easily present the lessons in any venue using turnkey scripts along with engaging, interactive PowerPoints including lecture, group discussion, skills-practice activities, videos, and games.

    “ECCAC is anxious to roll out Athlete Safety Matters as soon as possible to educate children, coaches, educators, volunteers and parents,” said Jasie Landeros, who heads up the prevention department at ECCAC as their Outreach Program Manager. “We are asking interested advocates related to school sports, recreational sports, private travel teams, team organizations, and school educators to reach out to me so ECCAC can bring our athlete program to them.”

    Jasie Landeros can be reached by email at jasie@eccac.org, or call her at (850) 833-9237, Ext. 267.
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