D-Y Schools and Children’s Cove Start Program to Help Abuse Victims

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YARMOUTH – A first-of-its-kind program on Cape Cod is underway at Dennis-Yarmouth High School with the goal of getting abuse victims to open up to volunteers their own age.

The Teen TASK (Taking a Stand for Kids) Force is a collaboration between the school district and Children’s Cove, a facility for child abuse intervention.

Director of Pupil Services for D-Y schools Jamie Curley says children who have been abused are often afraid to speak out.

“It’s scary sometimes to come out to adults when situations like this occur,” Curley said. “We’re trying to have students understand maybe some warning signs and what they can be looking for and a group for kids to feel comfortable with if they need somebody to come out to.”

Jacob Stapledom, the community education and outreach coordinator for Children’s Cove, said victims are going to talk to friends and piers.

“The matter of the fact is that when things are happening the information isn’t getting to right people and because of that sometimes abuse can happen longer than it needs to,” Stapledom said.

Discussion for the program began last year when Children’s Cove Director Stacy Gallagher approached the district about a possible program.

A group of volunteer students have come together to participate in the program.

“It just started,” Curley said. “I want to say they’ve had maybe two sessions now.”

The volunteers, which are sophomores at D-Y High School, meet monthly.

“They are going over to the Children’s Cove area and are learning about the different phases children go through when they are involved in these types of situations,” Curley said.

The goal of the program is to get TASK Force members to let victims know about the available resources, including those provided by Children’s Cove, and to just make it easier for victims to come forward with their experiences.

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