Talk About It! From Elementary to “Tween”

Talk About It! Infant-to-Teen Sexual Abuse Prevention & Body Safety Education Part 2 of 3, by Ginger Kadlec, author of Be A Kid's HeroTM All parents should know two truths:
  1. It’s NEVER too early to begin teaching children about sexual abuse prevention or “body safety”.
  2. Kids who KNOW body safety rules are 100% better prepared to deal with attempted sexual abuse than children who are kept in the dark.
Talking with kids about body safety doesn’t have to be difficult… just frame your...
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It’s Not About Football: Why the discussion around Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, and Penn State needs to change

Last year, the documentary “Happy Valley” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. This award-winning film examines the abuse scandal at Penn State, the environment in which it happened, and the emotional aftermath felt by the community. Aside from offering a ground level view of the events and attitudes surrounding an event that shook the foundation of the Centre County community, the film offers a tremendous opportunity to talk openly about child sexual abuse. HappyOn April 16, Darkness to Light (D2L) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) held a special screening...
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Talk About It! Small Children = Small Lessons

Talk About It! Infant-to-Teen Sexual Abuse Prevention & Body Safety Education Part 1 of 3, by Ginger Kadlec, author of Be A Kid's HeroTM All parents should know two truths:
  1. It’s NEVER too early to begin teaching children about sexual abuse prevention or “body safety”.
  2. Kids who KNOW body safety rules are 100% better prepared to deal with attempted sexual abuse than children who are kept in the dark.
As we adults begin thinking about child sexual abuse, we immediately think of the...
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We’re Talking About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. Why Isn’t Everyone?

When Benjamin Franklin wrote that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he likely had no idea just how common the phrase would become. We read it in newspapers, journals, and blogs on an almost daily basis, promoting the idea that healthy lifestyles and communities rest on a foundation of prevention. Perhaps the central reason behind the phrase’s popularity is that it's a simple truth. The National Prevention Strategy was released in 2011, with a goal to “increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.” The Strategy includes seven priorities: tobacco...
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Baby role-play: A potentially abusive fetish flourishing on Instagram

Excerpt from The Washington Post. A group of Instagram users are creating strange fictional relationships using photos of other people’s children. Often the accounts are anonymous or private. They are filled with photos of babies and kids, presumably stolen from social media sites. These are mostly amateur shots — say, from a family’s trip to the beach or a baby toddling in the backyard — not professional photos. In comments, the fantasy comes to life. Users have conversations pretending to be the parent or the baby. The babies “say” things like “Mes wove fwowers!” while other users might ask what...
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5 Questions to Ask Childcare Providers

As a first-time mother, I’ve spent countless hours researching the safest car seat to use, when to introduce foods and what foods to introduce, how many dirty diapers are normal, developmental milestones…you name it, and I’ve probably looked into it in order to make the best possible parenting decisions for my baby boy. Without a doubt, one of the most stressful decisions was the search for a childcare provider. For new parents, this can be a daunting task. Staff qualifications, facility safety record, program components – it seems like there is an exhaustive list of questions to ask. And then, after...
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In hope of helping others, delegate reveals abuse as child

Excerpt from baltimoresun.com Delegate C.T. Wilson stepped to the podium of a state Senate committee during a routine hearing, about to confess a secret. He took a deep breath. "I don't really, really want to be here," he said. Wearing a gray suit, years removed from his daily nightmare, Wilson told the senators that as a child, his adoptive father repeatedly beat and then raped him. "I can't describe to you the pain of being beaten, sodomized and molested for years," he said. Between ages 9 and 15, "I went from a difficult life to a downright hell." The abuse at...
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Punishing the victims: Sexually exploited kids in the U.S.

Excerpt from trust.org On March 16, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States held an extraordinary hearing. It was an examination of the United States government’s treatment of American girls and boys who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The petitioners, led by Kerry Kennedy of the RFK Center for Human Rights and Malika Saada Saar from Rights4Girls, told the Commission about the practice in dozens of states of police arresting underage kids on charges of prostitution. Instead of being offered shelter, trauma care, and services appropriate to trafficking victims, hundreds of abused teenagers are instead...
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The NFL Confronts Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

NFL Presentation William GayRecently, the National Football League provided to the public a moving presentation on domestic violence and sexual assault that was given to all 32 clubs. Using the voices and experience of coaches and players, the NFL addresses the seriousness of these issues, their long-reaching consequences, and the need to actively work to create safer communities for women and children. You’ll see many of D2L’s philosophies echoed throughout the presentation – talking about it, bystander intervention, and the importance of prevention, to name a few. We at Darkness to Light applaud...
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Emotional Trauma’s Surprising Effect on Children

Excerpt from clevelandclinic.org Traumatic events in children’s lives can have the same effect as head trauma, a new study says. The study, published recently in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, finds that emotional trauma at a young age may cause changes to the brain that are similar to head trauma. The connection between emotional trauma’s and physical trauma’s effect on the brain is an increase in a protein called S100B. S100B is a protein usually found in the brain. But when the protein makes its way to the blood, this is a sign that the barrier that separates the brain...
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