Child Abuse Prevention Seminar — Lancaster, PA

April 29 & 30, 2022

We are excited to announce that A Better Way and Safe Communities will host a Child Abuse Prevention Seminar in Lancaster County, PA, on April 29 & 30, 2022!

​Come and get training from professionals on identifying and reporting abuse and making our homes, churches, and communities safe places. Learn ways to teach and empower children, how to respond wisely in the event of possible abuse, topics of special interest to survivors, and much more. Credit may be offered by some foster/adoption agencies for this training. Check with your agency for their requirements. See below for a list of topics and speakers!​

There will be resources to browse, and some available to purchase if you desire, the ability to network with others who care about children, and opportunity to ask questions in a safe and supportive environment.

The registration fee includes snacks and drinks, as well as Friday supper and Saturday lunch catered by Shady Maple Smorgasbord.

Limited funds may be available if you need help with the purchase of a ticket. Please inquire.

Admission Policy: We reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone. For example, if we have received credible reports of abusive behavior, or you have caused concerns at a previous event, those could result in you being excluded from this event. Please note that we take our attendees safety and comfort seriously. If you have any concerns or questions about safety at our event, please speak promptly to our staff or law enforcement.

Please observe all posted or verbal requests and observe directions from staff.

Age Restriction: Due to the nature of this event’s subject matter, this seminar is only open to anyone 18 or older. Parents may bring young children who are nursing/bottle fed.

We look forward to seeing you!


Forest Hills Mennonite Church
100 Quarry Rd
Leola, PA 17540

Can’t Make it in Person?

Watch the Livestream

The plenary sessions and one session at each breakout will be streamed live to anyone who purchases a streaming ticket. Afterwards, the recordings will still be available for you to re-watch. If you are unable to attend or watch live on the day of the event, a streaming ticket will allow you to take this training on your own schedule.

​​This ticket purchase will also include some PDF’s for your use. Please note that the ticket price also helps pay our speakers.

Schedule of Events

View/Download PDF

Friday, April 29, 2022

12:00 PMDoors Open/Registration
1:00 PMOpening Remarks
1:15 PMWhat 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.
2:15 PMBreak
2:30 PMBreakout Sessions:

Helping Children in the Future: Understanding Why Sexual Abusers Continue to Abuse Children
Tara Mitchell
Many people think that, once a child sexual abuser is reported to someone in authority and admits to what they did, they will 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, recidivism (the likelihood of committing a crime again), and the things that help stop a child sexual abuser from abusing children in the future.

Child Sexual Abuse: Recognizing, Responding, and Connecting Children to Help
Brittany Leffler
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.

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.

Toxic Teachings
Dale and Faith Ingraham with Hope Anne Dueck
In this presentation we will be looking at some of the toxic teachings that allow abuse to thrive in religious communities and further harm victims of abuse. We will also be looking at ways that we can refute these harmful teachings.
3:45 PMBreak
4:00 PMChild Sexual Offenders:  What We Need to Know
Scott MacDerment
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.
5:00 PMSupper, catered by Shady Maple Smorgasbord
6:30 PMBreakout Sessions:

How Common is Child Sexual Abuse?
Mary Byler and Dr. Tara Mitchell
Although one child being abused is one too many, people often struggle to understand just how common child sexual abuse is. One reason for that might be the way child sexual abuse is defined by researchers, those working with children being abused, and by those in the community. This presentation will discuss some of the research being done on how child sexual abuse is defined, how common it is, and how children and their communities are impacted by it.

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 the discussion to questions from the audience.

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.

Self Care in Advocacy
Crystal Sayre
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.
7:30 PMBreak
7:45 PMQuestions and Answers and Closing Remarks
8:15 PMEnd of Evening Session

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

8:00 AMDoors open/registration (light breakfast foods provided)
9:00 AMOpening remarks
9:30 AMBreakout Sessions:

The Survivor’s Trident: A Primer On How the Court System and Victim Advocates Can Help Survivors Of Abuse Find Justice — Part 1
Teresa Jauregui and Renee Franchi
This two-part course will discuss the various remedies and resources available to survivors of abuse. Join Teresa Jauregui and Renee Franchi as they discuss the criminal and civil legal processes. They will break down each step of the legal process, what it entails, and the variety of avenues for relief survivors can seek. Additionally, they will be joined by victim advocates who will explain the rights and resources available to crime victims, including the government, non-profit, and private organizations they can trust to rebuild their lives. By the end of the session, attendees will walk away with a step-by-step process they can follow if they, or their loved ones, are affected by abuse.

Identifying and Dealing with Inappropriate or Aggressive Behavior in the Classroom
Dianne Darr Couts
Is it kids being kids? Is it just harmless joking? Or is it something that the teacher needs to address? This breakout session will look at some of the underlying causes of bullying behavior – which is sometimes a child’s way of reacting to abuse or trauma – and suggestions for how an informed teacher can react to it to help all involved.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse
Haven Evans
In this workshop, participants will learn how to make reports of suspected child abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania. We will also define who is required to report suspected child abuse (mandated reporters of child abuse) and what the penalties are for failing to report when abuse is suspected.

Child Protection for Churches: Why Background Checks Are Not Enough
Linda Crockett
Too many churches rely solely on background checks for staff and volunteers to ensure children are safe from sexual abuse. While these are important and required by PA law, it takes much more to keep children safe from abuse, as most sexual offenders are never arrested and charged, and criminal records come up clean. This workshop will provide basic information on the building blocks of a child protection policy that actively prevents sexual harm, rather than just reporting it after we learn or suspect it has happened.
10:45 AMBreak
11:00 AMCaught in the Middle: Why Children Might Be (Wrongly) Blamed for Their Abuse
Tara Mitchell
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.
12:10 PMLunch
1:30 PMBreakout Sessions:

The Survivor’s Trident: A Primer On How the Court System and Victim Advocates Can Help Survivors Of Abuse Find Justice — Part 2
Teresa Jauregui and Renee Franchi
This two-part course will discuss the various remedies and resources available to survivors of abuse. Join Teresa Jauregui and Renee Franchi as they discuss the criminal and civil legal processes. They will break down each step of the legal process, what it entails, and the variety of avenues for relief survivors can seek. Additionally, they will be joined by victim advocates who will explain the rights and resources available to crime victims, including the government, non-profit, and private organizations they can trust to rebuild their lives. By the end of the session, attendees will walk away with a step-by-step process they can follow if they, or their loved ones, are affected by abuse.

When School Is Not a Safe Place
Linda Crockett
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.

I’ve Reported: Now What? The Investigative Process
Detective Sasha Sheridan
“I’ve reported a case of child abuse or sexual assault to law enforcement. Now what is going to happen?” Join Detective Sheridan of the Clinton County, PA District Attorney’s Office, as she takes listeners through the legal process of investigating a report. Learn why and how a case has to be built, current statute of limitations considerations for an adult filing a report of childhood sexual abuse, what steps can happen in an investigation, and who makes the final decision about charging an alleged offender.

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.
2:45 PMBreak
3:00 PMHope and Healing
Dale and Faith Ingraham
This presentation offers hope and healing to survivors of abuse. 
4:00 PMQ & A with All Available Speakers
4:30 PMClosing Remarks


Mary Byler

Mary Byler is an Ex-Amish survivor of multiple types of abuse in an extremely insular community. She escaped 18 years ago and has been advocating for protection and safety for children ever since.

Mary is a Certified Medical Coder and Certified Professional Medical Auditor as well as a Certified Master Life Coach and founder of The Misfit Amish. Mary also has recently undertaken the certification for ethics in research. She works to provide people with accurate, efficient, and trauma-informed information in all of her roles in life.

Linda Crockett

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

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.

Haven Evans

Haven Evans is the Director of Programs at the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Haven is primarily responsible for the mandated reporter training curriculums. With over twelve years of experience in the child welfare field, she brings to PFSA an extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Haven is a graduate of Messiah College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently enrolled in the Penn State University graduate program for Public Administration. She currently resides in Dauphin County in Pennsylvania and enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and three children.

Renee Franchi

Renee is an attorney at Andreozzi + Foote.  Renee handles litigation on behalf of sexual abuse, violent crime, and human trafficking survivors against an assortment of institutions including, but not limited to, Catholic Diocese and churches, foster care agencies, mentoring organizations, schools, and bars.

Prior to joining Andreozzi + Foote, Renee served as a Senior Deputy Prosecutor, prosecuting violent crime and death cases including strangulations, domestic violence, aggravated assaults, and homicides in jury trials.  Renee also served as an appellate attorney, arguing appeals in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts.  Renee also worked in a private civil firm, representing plaintiffs in complex civil litigation matters including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, anti-discrimination, failure to accommodate for disabilities, and white collar and embezzlement cases.

Renee graduated from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in Biology and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Renee is currently admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

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.

Teresa Jauregui

Teresa Jauregui is the Legal Director of the National Child Protection Task Force (NCPTF).  Prior to law school, Ms. Jauregui worked with the Cybercrime and Economic Crime Squads at the FBI Field Office in Boston.  She also worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Cybercrime Unit in Boston throughout her final year of law school.  Ms. Jauregui started her legal career as a prosecutor for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, Massachusetts in April 2013. She joined the York County District Attorney’s Office (YCDAO) in Pennsylvania in the fall of 2016.

Over her nine-year prosecutorial career, Ms. Jauregui prosecuted all manner of serious felonies, from child sexual assault to homicide. While with YCDAO, she spent four years in the Special Crimes Unit, where she investigated and prosecuted instances of elder abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, and child sexually abusive material (CSAM). In her current role, she works with law enforcement across the globe in locating missing and exploited persons utilizing the latest technologies and innovative investigative methods. She continually advocates for law enforcement to use a holistic, survivor-centric model in all investigations.

Brittany Leffler

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.

Scott MacDerment

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.

Tara Mitchell

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.

Crystal Sayre

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. Her focus is trauma-informed care of all ages of clients. Her desire is that every person and client experience the love of Jesus when they are with her.

Sasha Sheridan

Detective Sasha Sheridan grew up in Nebraska and moved to Pennsylvania in 1989. After graduating from University of Pittsburgh with Administration in Justice Degree, she served as a corrections counselor in Allegheny County. She then became a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 20 years, stationed at PSP Lamar Barracks. Detective Sheridan currently works for Clinton County District Attorney David Strouse as County Detective specializing in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.


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.