What’s Your ACE Score?

It seems like ever since the Internet began, people have been using it to share quizzes. From "What Color is Your Aura?" to "Who's Your 80s Movie Boyfriend", there is a quiz for just about everything. Well, we have one you may not have heard of - "What's Your ACE Score?" Based on a study by Dr. Vincent Felitti, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study measures 10 types of traumatic childhood experiences. According to the ACES Too High website, "Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and...
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The Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA: Strengthening the community through child sexual abuse prevention

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA strengthens the community in Orange County, North Carolina through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Serving more than 10,000 men, women, and children, regardless of age, income, or background, the Chapel Hill Y strives to nurture children and teens, improve the community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to deliver lasting change. THE CHALLENGE As an organization committed to child protection, the Chapel Hill Y learned about Darkness to Light after completing a risk audit. Several YMCA staffers attended a series of D2L workshops and returned home energized and excited to implement prevention programs in their communities. “We believe...
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What is the ACE Study?

Last week, we discussed Dr. Vincent Felitti's discovery of the link between adult obesity and child sexual abuse. From Jane Ellen Stevens's article:
In 1990, Felitti presented his findings at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in Atlanta. Its members told him he was naïve to believe his patients, and they loudly denigrated the study. However, Dr. David Williams, then a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was intrigued. “He told me that people could always find fault with a study of 100 people,” says Felitti, “but
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Bivona Child Advocacy Center is changing lives in Rochester, NY

Bivona Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit, multidisciplinary organization located in Rochester, New York. Their mission is to coordinate and provide services to child victims of sexual or physical abuse and their families at a single welcoming facility. Bivona CAC is the only agency located in the Rochester area that provides these services, working with more than 1,500 children each year. In 2012, they collaborated with the YMCA of Greater Rochester and Darkness to Light to develop a county-wide initiative among Monroe schools and other service organizations. ...
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A college student’s perspective on child sexual abuse prevention

By Linda Daniel. A few months ago, I interviewed at Darkness to Light for a social media internship. During that time, I was focused on finding an internship, and little did I know this organization would change my perspective on life. As I read about its dedication to raising awareness of child sexual abuse and how to prevent it, I became immersed in the mission. When I joined the D2L family, I was required to take the award-winning Stewards of Children training. From there, my experience became a real eye-opener. As an intern, I am encouraged to know...
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The link between child sexual abuse and obesity

From "Toxic stress from childhood trauma causes obesity, too" by Jane Ellen Stevens The year was 1985. Dr. Vincent Felitti was mystified. The physician, then chief of Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, couldn’t understand why 55 percent of the 1,500 people who enrolled in his weight-loss clinic every year left before completing the program. He was especially confused after examining their medical records: Almost all of the dropouts had been losing, not gaining, weight. It didn’t make sense. Why were people who were dropping pounds dropping out? Felitti had started the...
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How should I react?

Do you know how to respond if you discover or suspect child sexual abuse is occurring? ...
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A future mother’s perspective on child sexual abuse prevention

Baby in striped sweatshirt croppedWhen I began working at Darkness to Light, I had very little knowledge of child sexual abuse as an issue. My background is in marketing, communication, and event planning. The extent of my applicable child knowledge centered around the fact that July 4th event goodies must be hidden from kids until the exact time they are to be handed out, or there will be mutiny on the pool deck. Despite this, I've always cared very much about children's issues, and so I was very excited to come on...
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Teen honored for his work with Stewards of Children

New Jersey - Kyle Bennison, a student at Hopewell Valley Central High School, is not your average 17-year-old. In recognition for his volunteer work with D2L's Stewards of Children training, Bennison has been honored with a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama. The Hopewell Valley YMCA nominated Bennison for national honors in the fall for his volunteer service. He launched a community-wide awareness and education initiative to promote Stewards...
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Get involved!

April's arrival brings with it the potential for many wonderful memories with the children you love. Winter melts away to the blossom of spring, the Easter bunny brings eggs and candy for kids to find and enjoy, and park days and outdoor adventures become regular weekend activities. April also marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. What better time to take action and protect children, creating safer environments for them to develop happy memories free of the trauma of child sexual abuse?   This April,...
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