The National Children’s Advocacy Center on the Declining Rates of Child Sexual Abuse

The position paper below was originally published by the National Children's Advocacy Center. It cites Darkness to Light's prevalence research and calls for a new messaging that celebrates the strides that have been made and leverages that success to bolster future prevention efforts.  Header Template For many years, many child sexual abuse professionals including those within Children’s Advocacy Centers have held to a similar mantra – one in four girls and one in seven boys are victims of sexual abuse or assault before the age of 18. These alarming statistics have been a...
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Still Feeling – Miryam’s Story

At a certain point in my life I realized that I was living in “the upside-down.” It was when I started to work out my past, that I developed this concept. Only recently I came up with the name, thanks to the Netflix series, Stranger Things. Early in my childhood, I was abused. I can rattle my brain for a while to try and remember a life before it started, but it’s no use, sexual trauma is my first memory. Similar to a Vietnam vet, my mind and body was in shock. Unlike a war vet, I had a full day...
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Jenna’s Story – Pure In Heart

The following is an excerpt from the new book, Pure In Heart: A Memoir of Overcoming Abuse and Passing Jenna’s Law, by Jenna Quinn. In the passage, Jenna talks about the painful realization when she and her mother first learned about the warning signs of child sexual abuse at the hospital where Jenna received her sexual assault nurse examination. Jenna’s book addresses how we can prevent and protect children from the devastating effects of child sexual abuse. Jenna's book is now available on Amazon.  As I was escorted back to a private room, Mom and...
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A Childhood Fractured – Allen and Derek’s Stories

Darkness to Light shares survivor stories in the hopes of highlighting the ways that survivors are healing from their abuse and helping others. Derek Hopkins and Allen Vandever Derek Hopkins and Allen Vandever are both Chicago area artists who interpret their worlds through their work. In the case of these friends and collaborators, that includes a shared history of child sexual abuse. The two have undertaken their project, "A Childhood Fractured," with the hope of bringing attention to child sexual abuse. The project consists of a series of paintings by Vandever, made as...
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A Survivor Becomes An Advocate – Sylvia’s Story

sylvia-email-header I don’t talk about my story much. I guess it’s easier to suppress the feelings or forget about what happened years ago. I remember being a child in Guatemala, my birth country. My parents were working on migrating the family to the U.S. My father left several months before us. We lived in a large home with multiple generations living together. I remember playing as a child with all of my cousins. No one knew it was the perfect environment for abuse to happen. I don’t remember my exact age, but...
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Believing that Prevention is Possible – Souraya’s Story

souraya-email-header As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I’m writing to you with a story of hope. Although I experienced the trauma of abuse as a child, I have seen the power to protect children when adults are trained in child sexual abuse prevention. My abuse first started when I was 5 years old by a cousin who often visited. I was afraid of her and so I would do what she told me to. Then, at 7 years old, my mother’s live-in boyfriend started sneaking into my room at night. For many...
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Finding Beauty in the Broken – Clarissa’s Story

Darkness to Light shares survivor stories in the hopes of highlighting the ways that survivors are healing from their abuse and helping others. Clarissa Carpenter helps survivors of child sexual abuse through her work with The Younique Foundation, an organization that provides retreats for women where they learn skills that can help them find individual healing. She's also a survivor of child sexual abuse herself, which gives her the valuable ability to empathize with the women she helps. During retreats, Clarissa leads art therapy groups using "kintsugi," a Japanese art form. Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery with a...
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National Health and Child Protection Advocates Join Darkness to Light Board of Directors

Darkness to Light is pleased to announce that two new members have been welcomed to their board of directors. This announcement comes on the heels of the recent hire of Katelyn Brewer as CEO. Anton Gunn and Gareth Hedges were nominated and voted onto the board for terms beginning in September 2016. The appointments demonstrate Darkness to Light’s commitment to child sexual abuse prevention policy and advocacy, and firmly establishes the organization as a national leader on the issue. "The addition of Anton Gunn and Gareth Hedges to our board of directors provides two unique perspectives on child sexual abuse prevention...
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Darkness to Light Welcomes Katelyn Brewer as New CEO

katelyn3Charleston, S.C. (November 9, 2016) — Darkness to Light Board Chair Jamie Tozzi today announced that Katelyn Brewer has joined the organization as CEO. Brewer brings invaluable experience including leadership roles in fundraising, operations, and the development of global initiatives. She has worked nationally and internationally in a variety of capacities, including partnerships with multinational corporations that result in sustainable change for local communities. Katelyn’s work has demonstrated that starting local allows an organization to expand its mission globally. Her leadership will help the organization further its work educating...
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Summoning Courage: Kandra Albury’s Story

As a survivor of child sexual abuse, Kandra Albury found the courage within herself to speak out against the abuse and ultimately encourage children to do the same. Recently Darkness to Light had the opportunity to speak with Kandra and learn more about her “courageous” endeavors. D2L: Why did you get involved in child sexual abuse prevention? Kandra: I was sexually abused between the ages of five and seven by people close to my family. I was a mute as a child; I was afraid to speak and I suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. As a result of my perpetrators stealing my...
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