April 29 & 30, 2022
We are excited to announce that A Better Way will host a Child Abuse Prevention Seminar in Lancaster County, PA, on April 29 & 30, 2022. Please stay tuned for more information! This event promises to be well-worth your time. We are excited to be working with Safe Communities and Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community to present this seminar.
Come and get training from professionals on identifying abuse; reporting abuse; and making our homes, churches, and communities safe places.
For the first time ever, we will also host an event for youth! Due to the nature of topics at our seminars, we restrict attendance to those 18 and older. However, we will hold a teenager-friendly session for 7th-12th graders on Friday evening. Please stay tuned for a list of topics.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up for our newsletter to be notified as we have more details to share!
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Can’t Make it in Person?
Watch the Livestream
The majority of the topics at the seminar will be recorded and available to view with the purchase of a ticket. The plan is to have the event live streamed with Zoom, with passworded access during the day. Afterwards, it will still be available for you to re-watch. The email address that you use to purchase this ticket is how we will contact you to provide detailed information the day before the conference.
If for some reason, the live streaming fails, the day will still be recorded and uploaded for you to access later. So either way, this ticket purchase will allow you to access A Better Way’s day of training.
This ticket purchase will also include some PDF’s for your use. Please note that the ticket price also helps pay our speakers.
Please stay tuned for information about how to purchase a livestream ticket.
Topics To Be Presented
Below are just some of the sessions to come at the seminar!
When School Is Not a Safe Place
Child-on-child sexual abuse is on the rise, with about half of children who are sexually abused harmed by other children close to their age. Amish girls especially are at risk for several reasons, including teachers who are not trained as required by the state in mandatory reporting and school boards that do not take allegations seriously, often punishing victims. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how teachers can be better equipped to deal with this problem, basic guidelines school boards should put in place to respond, supporting victims, and getting help and guidance for boys with sexual behavior problems so they don’t become adult offenders.
Child Sexual Offenders: What We Need to Know
In this workshop, participants will learn about the behavior and mindset of child sexual offenders from a parole officer who supervised offenders, including some in the Plain communities, for more than 20 years. Several types of offenders will be discussed, as well as those who ‘cross over’ and sexually abuse across a range of ages and gender. Participants will learn about the specialized treatment required and ensuring the safety of children around offenders for the long term.
Child Sexual Abuse: Recognizing, Responding, and Connecting Children to Help
In this presentation, participants will build awareness and understanding about the signs, symptoms, and disclosures of children who have experienced sexual abuse. Participants will learn about their role in preventing abuse, ways to speak with children about body safety, feelings, and boundaries, and specialized community resources and services for children who have experienced sexual abuse.
Surviving Sexual Abuse: Understanding Trauma’s Lifelong Effects in Adulthood and Finding Pathways to Healing
Adverse childhood experiences have traumatic effects and negative health consequences spanning a person’s entire lifetime. Participants will learn how child sexual abuse in particular can disrupt the emotional development, relationships, and mental health of those that survive it. Sexual trauma often overwhelms a person’s ability to cope and thrive in their lives, but this workshop will explore the options survivors have to reclaim their own narrative and receive help from local resources and counseling services.
Panel Discussion: Plain Communities Task Force (PCTF) of Lancaster County
Moderator: Hope Anne Dueck
Several members of the Task Force will speak about why and when the Task Force was created, goals, accomplishments, what they’ve learned, and how they hope to move forward in supporting the changes many Plain people want to see in how their communities respond to victims of abuse. Following brief presentations from the panel, we will open up the discussion to questions from the audience.
Self Care in Advocacy
Navigating the impact of past trauma and vicarious trauma in advocacy work can feel like a difficult thing. Participants will learn how to identify vicarious trauma and to protect against re-traumatization as they work with clients. Participants will be introduced to practical ways to engage in self-awareness to soothe the body’s reactions while they are actively engaged in the daily work of advocacy and personal healing.
Helping Children in the Future: Understanding Why Sexual Abusers Continue to Abuse Children
Many people think that, once a child sexual abuser is reported to someone in authority and admits to what they did, they will be not abuse a child again. However, that is often not what happens; someone who abuses a child will continue to abuse more children in the future, even if they have been reported to someone in authority. This presentation will talk about why that happens and things that may be necessary to do before someone truly stops abusing children in their families and communities. Participants will learn about the types of child sexual abusers, recividisism (the likelihood of committing a crime again), and the things that help stop a child sexual abuser from abusing children in the future.
Caught in the Middle: Why Children Might Be (Wrongly) Blamed for Their Abuse
A child can never invite or consent to sexual activity; it is legally, morally, and ethically impossible for them to do. Sadly, though, some people try to blame children for their abuse and to put the responsibility for the abuse on them and not where it belongs – the abuser. This is called victim-blaming, and it is often used to reduce the responsibility and accountability that should be on the abuser. This presentation will focus on this victim-blaming. Participants will learn what victim-blaming is, how it can seem subtle and innocent while still being very harmful, the effects of victim-blaming, and how to stop victim-blaming and start holding abusers responsible for their actions.
What Does God Say about Abuse?
Dale and Faith Ingraham
This presentation focuses on verbal abuse, child abuse and marital abuse. God says a lot about abuse and yet it is seldom mentioned from the pulpit.
What Helps, What Hurts
Dale and Faith Ingraham
This presentation was based on anonymous responses from survivors of abuse. We asked victims to share things that people said and did that were helpful and hurtful in the healing journey.
Hope and Healing
Dale and Faith Ingraham
This presentation offers hope and healing to survivors of abuse.
Lessons Learned – How Trauma and Resilience Shaped Who I Am
Dianne Darr Couts
In this session, Dianne Darr Couts will share the life-long effects that childhood sexual abuse had in her life and, more importantly, how other factors allowed her to survive and thrive.
There is Healing in the Telling of the Tale
Dianne Darr Couts
In this session, Dianne Darr Couts will discuss the hindrances to sharing our stories, the benefits of doing so and tips for getting started.
Book Discussion With Author, Dianne Darr Couts
Dianne will meet with attendees who have read (or who want to read) her memoir, Things Fell Apart, but the Center Held, to get their feedback and to answer questions.
Linda Crockett is the founder and director of Safe Communities, a nonprofit in Lancaster, PA that works to prevent the sexual abuse of children, and provide hope and healing to abuse survivors. The organization works with churches, schools, parents, youth camps and others to educate adults about how to keep children safe from sexual harm, and holds support groups and retreats for adult survivors of abuse. Linda’s book “The Deepest Wound: How a Journey to El Salvador Led to Healing from Mother-Daughter Incest” recounts her mission work with refugees and survivors of torture, along with her personal story about healing from the sexual abuse she endured as a child. The program Linda developed in 2011 for training churches to keep children safe from abuse is used in seven states and in Costa Rica.
She currently co-leads the Plain Communities Task Force of Lancaster County on child sexual abuse prevention and victim support in Amish and Plain Communities; the Trauma-Informed Care for Survivors of Sexual Violence Work Group as part of the PA Governor Tom Wolf’s Office of Advocacy and Reform; and serves as a member of Lancaster County C.A.S.E. Task Force on ending child sexual abuse and exploitation. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years, and have two grown sons and one grandchild. Linda enjoys hiking, reading, being near water, and traveling. Learn more at www.safecommunitiespa.org
Dianne Darr Couts
Dianne Darr Couts is a retired high school English and French teacher and survivor of childhood sexual abuse and institutional abuse. As a board member of Missionary Kid (MK) Safety Net, Dianne is a speaker at conferences and in churches about abuse in religious settings. Her book, Things Fell Apart, But the Center Held, is her story of an extraordinary childhood, rich with wonderful experiences, juxtaposed with sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse.
Dianne is married to Bud, a retired minister. They have three married children and seven grandchildren.
Hope Anne Dueck
Raised in a plain community and observing multiple cases of child abuse, Hope Anne has a burning passion to protect children and the vulnerable from abuse.
Having previously helped create and serve on the board of a non-profit in the 1990’s that supported survivors, Hope Anne eventually went on to co-found A Better Way with Wesley Yoder in 2017 to provide education about prevention of abuse, as well as supporting survivors through advocacy in a variety of ways.
It would be impossible for her to do the work that she does without the enthusiastic support of her husband, Paul, and their children, and she is always grateful for their love and support.
Dale and Faith Ingraham
Dale Ingraham graduated from Practical Bible Training School in Johnson City, NY in 1983. He has been a pastor of several churches since beginning his ministry in 1983. He resigned from Curtis Baptist Bible Church in Campbell, NY, where he served as their pastor for 20 years, to devote himself fully to the ministry of Speaking Truth in Love. He is the author of “Tear Down This Wall of Silence”. He also serves on the board of MK Safety Net US.
Faith Ingraham is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She has been serving with her husband in pastoral ministry since 1984. She is an author, speaker, life coach and strong advocate against domestic violence and abuse. Dale and Faith have been married since 1984. She home schooled all five of their children and enjoys spending time with their grown children and grandchildren.
Brittany Leffler serves as a sexual assault counselor and educator at Lancaster County’s designated rape crisis center, the Sexual Assault Prevent and Counseling Center (SAPCC) at the YWCA Lancaster. Through SAPCC, she counsels adult and child victim/survivors, leads interdisciplinary research on trauma-informed medical care, and is a PA standards mandated reporting training instructor and member of the Plain Communities Task Force. She is in her final year of specialized study and research as a part-time Master of Social Work candidate in the School of Social Work at Millersville University (MU).
Brittany’s social work areas of focus include the traumatic effects of violence, human sexuality, adverse childhood experiences, and expressive arts interventions for youth and adults. She is a recipient of the Steinman Fellowship and PASSHE grant research funds (led by Dr. Jen Frank), earned certificates in clinical trauma practice and interprofessional education, and conducts faculty-led community research on rural poverty and isolation with MU’s Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change and School of Social Work.
Tara L. Mitchell has a Ph.D. in Legal Psychology and has taught in the psychology department at Lock Haven University since 2005. Her teaching, research, and service to the community center around reducing interpersonal violence and discrimination, particularly based on race and gender. She has presented research on domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and human trafficking at a variety of conferences and for several local community groups. Her hope is that these forms of violence, and all others, will be reduced (if not completely eliminated) through education and awareness.
Scott MacDerment was a Probation/Parole Officer for Lancaster County Adult Probation/Parole Services for over 30 years. The last 20 years he worked in the Sexual Offender Unit.
Crystal Sayre is a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor who currently works at Cedar Ridge Behavioral Health Solutions in Cambridge, Ohio. Crystal graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Crystal’s love in counseling is supporting parents and children to experience better connections with each other. Crystal’s focus is trauma-informed care of all ages of clients. Crystal’s desire is that every person and client experience the love of Jesus when they are with her.
Rep. David Zimmerman
State Rep. David Zimmerman represents the 99th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving parts of Lancaster County.
Dave’s public service also includes serving on the Lancaster County Transportation Committee and the Lancaster County Planning Commission. His commitment to his community stems from his family and his faith – they are the bedrock on which his public service is built. The 99th District owes its strength to its families and family values, and Dave considers it a high honor to continuing serving this community at the state level.
Dave is a lifelong Lancaster County resident and lives in East Earl Township with his wife, Ruth Ann. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
Anyone with a credible accusation of any type of abuse, or a conviction of abuse of any kind, is not welcome to attend our standard seminars. Anyone who has attended in the past and caused concern for our staff, our law enforcement partners, or our attendees, is also not welcome at future events. We reserve the right to reject registrations, or to ask anyone who has arrived to vacate the premises. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.