Empowering Children to Voice the Uncomfortable

As part of our Two Minutes of Prevention series, Stewards of Children® author Paula Sellars provides additional insights and experience about the topic covered in the video below.  A couple of weeks ago we had a really good snowfall in Asheville, 18 inches in fact. I absolutely love snow, so I took the morning off, bundled up and went for an early morning walk. Crunching down my street I came upon at 10 year-old girl who recently moved into our neighborhood with her parents and her dog. We hadn’t met. I was a stranger. This youngster, I’ll...
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Texas Teachers are Protecting Children From Sexual Abuse

By Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH, CEO Darkness to Light and Jenna Quinn, MS, Founder of Jenna's Law Jenna Quinn is a hero, and her courage is changing the lives of children in Texas. Sexually abused by her basketball coach, a family friend, Jenna remembers all too well the fear and shame that kept her silent. From age 12 to age 14, Jenna suffered through progressive violation of her trust and physical boundaries, followed by two more years of sexual abuse. The once outgoing, popular teenager became withdrawn and troubled, coping by overeating and experimenting with self-harm. Luckily for Jenna, family members helped her...
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Talking To Kids About Digital Safety: Public and Permanent

It's easy to focus on the physical safety aspects of protecting children from child sexual abuse, but in doing so we shouldn't lose sight of the increasing dangers in other areas, including the digital world. In a recent article about the world of online exploitation and cyber crime investigations, we're reminded that perpetrators have a growing list of ways to encounter and contact children online. It's our responsibility to monitor those channels and teach our kids about the possible dangers. "There are risks associated with how children are communicating digitally. It really requires that parents be educated about the types of apps that...
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Child Safety Should Come First

Excerpt from IowaStateDaily Thousands of people from around the nation are reported for suspected child abuse each year, and too many of these reports, approximately 40 percent, are overlooked without any investigation. Girl in Elementary School Class_SmallThe Department of Human Services (DHS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) boast about protecting the majority of abused children, but what happens to all of the kids to whom they turn a blind eye and leave in the hands of a possible abuser? And more importantly, how is an...
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Beemer Case Highlights Need for Training Adults in the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH CEO, Darkness to Light Lyme, CT 90percentA December 26 The Day article by Karen Florinstates that in 1998, 13-year-old Timothy Beemer and 14-year-old Christina Beemer disclosed to a counselor at the Lymes' Youth Service Bureau that their father, Robert Beemer, had been sexually abusing them for years. The abuse extended to two younger siblings and a cousin, and in 2000, Beemer was sentenced to eight years in jail. Throughout the investigation and following his incarceration, Beemer continued to seek out and sexually abuse children, leaving a “trail of victims” in his...
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Crook, Jefferson counties at child abuse prevention ‘tipping point’

Excerpt from KTVZ.com KIDS Center said Monday it has reached a tipping point in creating new standards of child safety by training 5 percent of the adult population in our families, schools, and youth-serving organizations with Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children®” child sexual abuse prevention program. They said this lays the foundation for a proactive, community-wide approach to prevention and builds momentum toward educating and empowering all adults to protect children from abuse. Tipping points occur when issues gain momentum and ignite, and a relatively small amount of people can effect change on a societal level. Building upon Malcolm...
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Training childcare professionals to reduce childhood sexual abuse

Published in PREVENTION ACTION on Jan. 4, 2016 Teachers, daycare workers, and clergy are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the reports of sexual abuse to child protective services in the US. But programs that prepare these professionals to recognize and prevent abuse are rare. A brief training program called Stewards of Children aims to fill the gap. Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) can have life-long negative effects on all those involved. Most CSA interventions have focused on parents and children – neglecting the unique place of educators and childcare workers. Professionals are the most frequent reporters of maltreatment to child services,...
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Educators Arrested for Failing to Report Abuse

Excerpt from WMBFNews.com DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - A substitute teacher and staff member from Darlington High School were recently arrested for failing to report alleged abuse by a pastor who is accused of inappropriately touching a boy, according to Darlington Police Chief Danny Watson. Two days before the arrest of pastor Jamron Reames, a Darlington High School student went to 22-year-old Corey Wells and 24-year-old Brandon Johnson, according to a Darlington Police report. The victim said he went to Wells, a music appreciation teacher, who told him to tell someone who would listen, the report states. Wells then suggested the...
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A Survivor’s Message

Dave_Moody_Graphic_Head Dear Supporter, This year, Darkness to Light reached the milestone of one million people trained to protect children from sexual abuse. As one of 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the United States, this means a lot to me. And yet, I know that there is still a long road ahead. I know first-hand the devastation child sexual abuse can cause. Ninety percent of child sexual abuse is by someone known to the victim or family. In my case, it was my babysitter’s son. For others, it may be a family member,...
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Obligated to Protect: The Need for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in Organizations

Penn State Lion 2 for 12.8.15 post In late November, Penn State settled with six more victims of convicted child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky, growing the university’s total payout to an astonishing $93 million. Penn State’s financial payments should serve notice, that as a nation we are overdue for a plan for child sexual abuse prevention in youth serving organizations, educational settings, and frankly everywhere our children live, learn, and play. Following Sandusky’s 2012 conviction, the media has prompted ongoing debate about the university’s response to the initial abuse allegations. Across the nation, people have...
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