City of Charleston Commits to Partnership with Darkness to Light and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jolie Logan, 843.965.5444, jlogan@D2l.org

Or, Ann Read, 843.723.3600, aread@dnlcc.org

Web: www.D2L.org or www.dnlcc.org

 City of Charleston Commits to Partnership with

Darkness to Light and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center

to Strengthen Child Protection Policies

Charleston, S.C.  – Aug. 6, 2012 – City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. has announced a groundbreaking effort to evaluate and improve child protection policies for the city.

The effort will be spearheaded by Mayor Riley and a task force to include Darkness to Light’s (D2L) President and CEO Jolie Logan, Libby Ralston, founder and Director Emeritus of The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center (DNLCC), and Lib Hinson, Interim Executive Director of DNLCC.  The chief objective of the task force is to develop a “Best Practices” model for moving beyond current policies and strengthening the continuum of primary prevention and reporting standards of child abuse in Charleston. The model will then be shared with other cities and communities across the nation.  This initiative will build on the prevention training provided by D2L and the forensic, medical, and mental health services of DNLCC.

“The work of protecting our children is the responsibility of the adults around them,” said Mayor Riley. “Working with two extraordinary agencies, Darkness to Light and Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, the city will help create a model which will provide the knowledge and tools to a large number of adults who can help safeguard our vulnerable children.  We hope that this program will provide a model that will help other cities and communities.”

As a first step in this landmark initiative, Mayor Riley said the city is committed to achieving D2L’s “Partner in Prevention” designation by directing 100-percent of the city’s 1,700 employees to complete D2L’s “Stewards of Children” workshop. The workshops teach adults how to prevent, recognize warning signs and react responsibly to reports of child sexual abuse.

The announcement of this commitment coincides with D2L’s annual August “Prevention Month,” which offers free public prevention trainings and awareness events. For a schedule of free trainings near you, please visit www.D2L.org.

“This shows incredible progressiveness by The City of Charleston and exemplifies Mayor Riley’s commitment to making this a safe community for our children,” said Jolie Logan, President and CEO of D2L. “This will have an immeasurable, lasting impact on our city and particularly on our children.”

About Child Abuse

Crime and behavioral studies have long cited child abuse for its devastating impact on society. Statistics are startling, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse & Neglect:

  • 95% of abuse is by someone the child knows and trusts.
  • 73% of children don’t tell anyone until well after the abuse has occurred, if they tell at all.
  • Statistically, approximately 500,000 babies born in the U.S. each year will be abused before they reach age 18.
  • In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • Child abuse is linked to a host of social issues including teen pregnancy, psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.
  • Child abuse ranks second to murder as the most expensive victim crime in the U.S., where immediate and long term costs exceed $35 billion annually. 

About The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center (DNLCC)

DNLCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving victims of child abuse and neglect in Charleston and Berkeley counties.  Our mission is to keep children safe from abuse, and when abuse occurs, to work with our community to bring healing to these children and their families.

By bringing together child protective services, law enforcement, medical, legal, educational, and mental health professionals, DNLCC provides a coordinated approach to helping children at no cost to the family. Since the opening in 1991, DNLCC has provided evidence-based treatment over 20,000 child victims of abuse and their families, as well as trained other providers across South Carolina and the nation on best practices in the treatment of child trauma.  For more information, please visit www.dnlcc.org

About Darkness to Light (D2L)

D2L has championed the movement to end child sexual abuse (CSA) since its founding in 2000. To date, D2L’s prevention education programs have trained more than 300,000 adults and 3,600 teaching facilitators in 49 states and 15 foreign countries.

Youth serving organizations such as YMCAs, schools, faith centers, camps, sports organizations and others may earn D2L’s Partner in Prevention designation by implementing CSA policy and training staff. Partner in Prevention is now recognized as a leading symbol for organizations that take CSA prevention seriously.

Independent third-parties, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Crime Victims Center and several leading hospitals and universities, among others, routinely evaluate and validate D2L’s methodology and training materials.

For more information, please visit www.D2L.org.

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2 Responses to City of Charleston Commits to Partnership with Darkness to Light and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center

  • Brenda Peeples Batten says:

    What a wonderful commitment to the children of Charleston!
    Mayor Riley shows real insight into a crime that has been overlooked for too many generations. I applaud the partnership of city agencies receiving training through Darkness to Light, followed by a coordinated approach for aiding victims.
    This should show real dividends for the city in the future.

    • Brenda Peeples Batten says:

      I applaud Mayor Riley’s insight into a crime that has been overlooked for too many generations. The partnership with D2L and The Children’s Center should be just the right combination for city agencies to make a real difference for future generations.

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