College to be first in nation to adopt prevention training program for all employees and students
The Citadel today became the first college in the nation to announce its intentions to train every student, employee and campus resident in how to prevent child sexual abuse.
In partnership with Darkness to Light, all Citadel employees, cadets and graduate and evening undergraduate students along with members of the Board of Visitors and campus residents 18 and older will receive training through the Stewards of Children program, which is designed to teach adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse (CSA). Darkness to Light (D2L) is a national non-profit based in Charleston, S.C., and is dedicated to the prevention of CSA.
“The Citadel has the challenge and opportunity to set a new standard within our community,” said President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. “This partnership with Darkness to Light demonstrates our commitment to serving as an example to others and making The Citadel a safe place to live, learn, work and visit.”
Training for the approximately 650 people that make up the faculty and staff at The Citadel will begin on Oct. 10 and be completed by the end of the year. Next semester training for cadets, evening undergraduate and graduate college students, which total more than 3,000 students, will take place. Stephenie Hewett, associate professor in the School of Education and a trained Stewards of Children facilitator, will lead the training initiative at The Citadel. By May 1, 2013, she plans to have 3,650 people who live and work on The Citadel campus trained using the Stewards of Children program.
After May 1 annual training will be offered to all new Citadel employees. In addition, Hewett and the School of Education are developing a progressive and sustainable program to annually train new cadets and Graduate College students and to create leadership opportunities for students to become trainers and facilitators. In future years, certified students will have the chance to serve as leaders and trainers among their peers.
In 2006 The Citadel School of Education made Stewards of Children training part of its curriculum and a graduation requirement for both undergraduate and graduate students in its teacher education, counseling, literacy education and educational leadership programs. The Stewards of Children training also has been offered within the college’s psychology program.
“We are honored to stand by The Citadel today and celebrate the leadership to protect children,” said Jolie Logan, D2L President and CEO. “Today’s announcement marks the expansion of D2L training programs that began at The Citadel in 2006 and will soon look to achieve our Partner in Prevention designation by training 100-percent of staff and students.
“Recent events have made our community talk more openly about the difficult issue of CSA,” she said. “And today’s announcement will keep the dialogue alive, leading to better awareness, education and development of organizational policy to end CSA.”
About Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
Crime and behavioral studies have long cited child sexual abuse for its devastating impact on society. Statistics are startling, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse & Neglect:
- 95 percent of abuse is by someone the child knows and trusts.
- 73 percent 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 sexual abuse is linked to a host of social issues including teen pregnancy, psychiatric disorders, health problems and substance abuse.
- Child sexual 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 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 385,000 adults and 4,000 teaching facilitators in all 50 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.