Sage Advocacy Center is teaming up with Police and Sheriff's Offices in Chelan and Douglas Counties in an education program to stop sexual abuse of children.

Sage staff and 15 officers from the two counties Police and Sheriff's Offices will train staff from schools. churches and businesses on how to protect children from sexual abuse.

The new program was announced Monday and is being funded with money from the state.

Sage estimates about three percent of children in Chelan and Douglas counties are exposed to sexual abuse.

The group says, in the past year, it's served 316 children who had been impacted by or who are direct victims of sexual abuse.

The course called “Protecting our Children” will be taught Sage by staff and the 15 deputies and police officers starting in August of 2024 after those members are fully trained.

The curriculum was developed by national expert on preventing child abuse, Cory Jewel Jensen, who according to Sage, has has more than thirty years of experience in counseling psychology.

Jensen teaches that the best way to prevent child sexual abuse is to understand the motivations, tactics, and risk factors associated with child molesters.

This curriculum is meant to provide adults with knowledge and tools to protect children from sexual abuse.

The two-year child abuse prevention project is being funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce as a part of the state's Community Law Enforcement Program (CLEP).

According to a release from Sage, it the first time CLEP funding has been granted to a local agency from Chelan and Douglas counties, and the first time all four law enforcement jurisdictions - Chelan and Douglas Sheriff's Offices and Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Police departments - have allied with a local nonprofit for long-term community education and outreach.

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