8 Questions For Safer Summer Sleepovers

D2L-Sleepovers-Header                 Several of us at Darkness to Light have kids and lately we’ve been talking a lot about sleepovers. It’s summer so just about every week sleepovers and slumber parties are on the list of possible activities. Some in the child sexual abuse prevention field would say that eliminating sleepovers altogether is a fail-safe way of preventing abuse that might otherwise take place during a sleepover. And definitely that’s a parent or caregiver’s prerogative; we always support prioritizing child safety. But sleepovers are one of the exciting joys of childhood, and...
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Active Bystanding in Families: How To Approach It

  Without safety, without happiness, without trust, without love, ‘family’ is but a shell. Last week we talked about active bystanding in families and the uncertainty it can create. We explored the prospect of what we may have to lose when we confront child sexual abuse or boundary violations in a family and why on earth we would do it. We sought that which was even more valuable than family cohesion, security, history, and tradition. And we discovered that it was perhaps on behalf of family unity and family well-being that we protect a child. Or that maybe it is as simple...
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Holding a “Breaking the Silence” Screening – Thoughts From a Facilitator

“It was the easiest thing to do. It’s a natural way to introduce not only the issue of child sexual abuse to the community, but Stewards of Children® and Darkness to Light too."

Tracy Leonard, SCAN of Northern Virginia

Tracy Leonard of SCAN shared with Darkness to Light about the successful screenings of Breaking the Silence that she conducted last month in the cities of Ashburn and Alexandria, Virginia. She felt that the events worked well because they were an excellent way to promote prevention education in her community, and to get commitments from key...
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Active Bystanding In Families

There comes a time in your growth when you start making choices from a very different place. And if a choice lines up so that it supports truth, health, happiness, wisdom and love, it’s the right choice.

Angeles Arrien, Cultural Anthropologist

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been discussing Active Bystanding, and we’ve framed it as two types of bystander action - bystander prevention and bystander intervention. Bystander prevention is getting way out ahead of a boundary violation by talking with kids about their personal boundaries and putting safe structures and rules in place in their environments....
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Storybooth Shares Dee’s Story of Sexual Abuse

If you don't have time to read this entire post, just click the video link and start watching. Trust us. You don't want to miss this powerful video. This compelling animation is a true child sexual abuse survivor story from an 11 year old named Dee. Dee was fortunate that when she told a trusted adult of her sexual abuse, she was believed and appropriate intervention happened. We hope this story imparts the very valuable message that as concerned adults, it’s our responsibility that we be there to listen to a child, provide support, and know the steps to intervene or report abuse...
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Active Bystanding: It’s a Jungle Out There! – Part 2

Two-Minutes-Header As part of our Two Minutes for Prevention series, Stewards of Children® author Paula Sellars provides additional insights and experience about the topic covered in the video below. Last week we explored Greta’s story as a great example of Bystander Prevention. We said that Bystander Prevention is getting way out ahead of any harm to a child by being alert to potential boundary violations and grooming, and essentially heading them off at the pass. Bystander Prevention is doing Steps 1, 2 and 3 of The 5 Steps to...
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Active Bystanding: It’s a Jungle Out There! – Part 1

Two-Minutes-Header As part of our Two Minutes for Prevention series, Stewards of Children® author Paula Sellars provides additional insights and experience about the topic covered in the video below. The team at Darkness to Light has been having a lot of conversation recently about what it is to be an engaged bystander. We’ve really gotten into the weeds about it, too. We all agree that bystander engagement is a #1 priority when it comes to preventing sexual abuse. Why? Because as we like to say, “The...
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Portrait of a Perpetrator

What does a person who sexually abuses children look like? We hear all the time, “I would be able to tell if he was a child molester.” The reality is that you can’t. Most child molesters aren’t creepy men in vans. They aren’t hardened criminals. They aren’t from one race, gender, or sexual orientation. Those who sexually abuse children look and act just like everyone else. The chances are that you have met an offender and never even realized it. They often seek out “safe” neighborhoods, churches, schools, and youth sports leagues – any place that gives them...
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Challenge Made Easy(er) with D2L

By Kate Nyquist, Education Services Manager, Center for Child Protection, Austin, TX “Could I please get a volunteer to stand up and tell us about your last sexual experience?” This is typically the way I grab the attention of those who aren’t yet willing to make eye contact with me during the difficult subject matter of child sexual abuse in community trainings. Of course I never get volunteers but it helps push everyone’s discomfort so far that the group dynamics inevitably turn to laughter. As always demonstrated by this awkward question, sex in itself is already a taboo conversation. One we might only...
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Talking to My Community: Insisting on Childcare Protections

By Erika Rowell, Program Support Manager, Darkness to Light  As a new mother, I was tasked with the responsibility of choosing a childcare provider for my son.  What a scary and overwhelming task this is for a parent! You’re choosing the people that will be spending 8 to 10 hours a day with your child. Going back to work after having a child is already a very emotional time, and knowing that your little person is in safe hands can make all the difference. I researched and toured close to 10 centers before selecting the daycare my son now attends. When interviewing the childcare...
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