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United Way of Lancaster County


Lancaster and Ohio nonprofits partner on child abuse prevention seminar

The Plain Dressing People’s “What Were You Wearing?” Project. (Source: Safe Communities)

The Plain Dressing People's "What Were You Wearing?" Project. (Source: Safe Communities)
The Plain Dressing People's "What Were You Wearing?" Project. (Source: Safe Communities)

Two nonprofits focused on preventing child sexual abuse are partnering to bring a two-day seminar on the issue to Lancaster County next month.

Safe Communities, based in Lancaster, and A Better Way, based in Zanesville, Ohio, have organized the event. It will run from 1 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Forest Hills Mennonite Church, 100 Quarry Road, Leola.

It features five keynote speeches and 16 workshops, hosted by pastors, professionals and abuse survivors. Safe spaces for survivors and opportunities to network and will be offered throughout both days.

Safe Communities and A Better Way work to prevent child sexual abuse and support survivors, including in Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities.

That aspect of their efforts is reflected in the seminar, which will include a panel discussion on the Plain Communities Task Force of Lancaster County and the "What Were You Wearing?" exhibit, a project that collects clothing from survivors in Plain communities responding to the question, "What were you wearing when you were first abused?"

"Most of the clothing contributed to the exhibit brings home the stark reality that most sexual abuse starts at very young age," said Linda Crockett, director of Safe Communities. "We need everyone in our community to wake up, get educated and help to stop this."

For more information and to register, click here. Registration is $99 per person or $160 for married couples. A livestream option is available for $40.

Attendees must be age 18 or older, although mothers may bring infants who are nursing or bottle fed.

Questions may be directed to Safe Communities at (717) 560-9989 or

(Editor's Note: This story was updated March 28 to reflect a change in the event's location.)