Empowered & Empowering. I’m a Darkness to Light Trained Facilitator.

Today’s guest blogger is Karen Holmes, a Virginia parent and prevention professional. Karen attended one of our Stewards of Children training’s earlier this fall through SCAN’s partnership with Darkness to Light. Then in November she made the commitment to become a trained facilitator for the program. We asked her to share her thoughts on prevention, her experiences and how it feels to be empowering others to prevent child sexual abuse:

I attended my first Darkness to Light (D2L) training in September.  I expected it to be like many child abuse awareness and prevention programs I have attended in the past.  I typically walk out of training sessions feeling powerless to create change, powerless to prevent the inevitable and emotionally drained.  But I left that D2L training session feeling completely empowered to create a change in my own community.  I felt confident that I was equipped with the tools needed to create a plan of action as a parent, a community member and as a professional in the area of prevention programming.

Darkness to Light presents a different perspective on child sexual abuse. Everyone in the community is affected when a sexual predator targets children in their neighborhoods, sports teams, youth programs, schools and places of worship.  The responsibility rests on the adults in the community, not the children.  Adults must be vigilant and create safety plans from a place of purpose, not fear.

Child sexual abuse will happen.  The problem does not lie in “stranger danger.”  The statistics provided by D2L show that sexual predators are most often an adult in a position to be trusted with children and familiar with families.  The responsibility of awareness and protection can not be placed on our children.  We–the adults–must take on the responsibility of creating safe environments for children.  D2L does not incite fear; instead, their training instills adults with knowledge based in fact and evidence-based program guidelines empowering them to create a plan of action within their families and their communities.

How often child sexual abuse occurs and how it is handled is where change can and should occur.

After my first training in September, I chose to become a Trained Facilitator so that I can provide these same trainings in my own community. I am now empowered to shine a light on a very dark subject.  I know that the more we whisper, the more we turn away from a painful subject, the more widespread it will become.  I will talk about the reality of child sexual abuse, I will talk about the facts, and I will talk about the plan of action every adult can take in their own families, their communities and their youth-serving organizations.  I now have the skills to be a steward of not just my own children, but of all the children in my community. And I’m ready to help other adults do the same.

You can find a trained Darkness to Light Facilitator in Northern Virginia by contacting SCAN, or in other communities at www.d2l.org

~ Karen Holmes, Darkness to Light Facilitator

About SCAN

Follow SCAN’s blog buildingblocks for interesting developments in child welfare, links we love and creative thoughts for parents in our community. You’ll find out about everything from our programs and events to general information about parenting and families.

SCAN is a nonprofit in Northern Virginia working for the prevention of child abuse and neglect by EDUCATING the community, PROVIDING direct parent education and ADVOCATING for children already in the court system.

Every day we work to build hope for children and families across Northern Virginia.

Here, we bring ways to build that hope, one blog entry at a time!

One Response to Empowered & Empowering. I’m a Darkness to Light Trained Facilitator.

  • I am perplexed as to how reporting child abuse results in protecting the child. I have been reporting abuse of my granddaughter for over a yr now and although DCF “investigates” and has concrete evidence that the parents are prescription pill drug abusers, I am the “problem”. It amazes me that those who have devoted several hours to this (and I’m being generous in my assumptions) deem themselves more knowledgeable than the family members, who have known both parents for years.
    I know for a fact (can give examples, complete with names and addresses) of cases like my grandchilds where the child(ren) were removed from the home and the parents were told that they could regain custody upon completion of programs. This has not been done for my granddaughter. Why is she not entitled to protection? Why is she permitted to be hidden from family members?
    I do not live in a bubble. I know literally hundreds of persons in this predicament. We are organizing. What advice or practical knowledge have you for us?
    Thank you for your anticipated attention and response.

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