Still Feeling – Miryam’s Story

At a certain point in my life I realized that I was living in “the upside-down.” It was when I started to work out my past, that I developed this concept. Only recently I came up with the name, thanks to the Netflix series, Stranger Things. Early in my childhood, I was abused. I can rattle my brain for a while to try and remember a life before it started, but it’s no use, sexual trauma is my first memory. Similar to a Vietnam vet, …

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A Survivor Becomes An Advocate – Sylvia’s Story

I don’t talk about my story much. I guess it’s easier to suppress the feelings or forget about what happened years ago. I remember being a child in Guatemala, my birth country. My parents were working on migrating the family to the U.S. My father left several months before us. We lived in a large home with multiple generations living together. I remember playing as a child with all of my cousins. No one knew it was the perfect environment for abuse to happen. I …

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National Health and Child Protection Advocates Join Darkness to Light Board of Directors

Darkness to Light is pleased to announce that two new members have been welcomed to their board of directors. This announcement comes on the heels of the recent hire of Katelyn Brewer as CEO. Anton Gunn and Gareth Hedges were nominated and voted onto the board for terms beginning in September 2016. The appointments demonstrate Darkness to Light’s commitment to child sexual abuse prevention policy and advocacy, and firmly establishes the organization as a national leader on the issue. “The addition of Anton Gunn and …

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Darkness to Light Welcomes Katelyn Brewer as New CEO

Charleston, S.C. (November 9, 2016) — Darkness to Light Board Chair Jamie Tozzi today announced that Katelyn Brewer has joined the organization as CEO. Brewer brings invaluable experience including leadership roles in fundraising, operations, and the development of global initiatives. She has worked nationally and internationally in a variety of capacities, including partnerships with multinational corporations that result in sustainable change for local communities. Katelyn’s work has demonstrated that starting local allows an organization to expand its mission globally. Her leadership will help the organization …

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Personal Healing as a Public Project: Ignacio Rivera’s Story

As child sexual abuse survivors begin to stand up and speak out about their own experiences, they are filling the world with their perspectives. One of those survivors, Ignacio Rivera, hopes to not only share a personal experience with abuse, but amplify the voices of others. Through The HEAL Project, Rivera is giving survivors a platform and encouraging healing. The HEAL Project aims to prevent and end CSA by making visible the hidden tools used to guilt, shame, coerce and inflict violence onto children. The …

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Self-Efficacy: Allowing Children to Take Risks That Matter

At Darkness to Light, we’re in the business of preparing adults to shelter children from sexual abuse. But daily we also remember and embrace that we exist under a much wider tent of child wellbeing, which takes so many forms: Physical wellbeing – like nutrition and fitness Social wellbeing – like community connectedness, social support, and especially family resilience Economic wellbeing – like access to housing, material resources, and quality education Quality of life – like having a safe place to play, and activities that …

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Dropped and Dismissed: Seeking Justice and Accountability For Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Reporting child sexual abuse can be a monumental hurdle for survivors, but what happens once it’s reported? What happens when the victims come forward, but the justice system isn’t prepared or willing to do what needs to be done to prosecute perpetrators? Recently, Tennessee Watson shared her story, a story that many child sexual abuse victims may know all too well. “People who are victims of this kind of abuse often hear a refrain: Come forward and name your abuser. Justice will be done. But we …

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The Relationship Between Pornography, Trafficking, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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. I’ve been working in the field of child sexual abuse recovery and prevention for about 28 years. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, the subject of child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation of children grinds my gears like no other dimension of the work. So it is particularly challenging for me to write this post. It challenges …

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The Factor of the Matter: Providing Support to Children

We recently made a mistake, and we want to make good on it. On the Darkness to Light Facebook page, we offer awareness-building statistics on “Fact Fridays.” We usually post them as stand-alone facts that grab attention and give some quick education. This was our post a few weeks ago: Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children living with both biological parents.  Children who live with a single parent who has a live-in partner …

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Healing Through Art: Jenna Rose Simon’s Story

Jenna Rose Simon had been drawing for years before one of her pieces went viral on social media. Ever since, she has been sharing her gift with the world via her online platforms. Her art, which began as a way to find her voice as a survivor of abuse, subsequently gave a voice to other survivors. She recognizes that her art can be triggering, both for herself and viewers. Please be aware that some of her art accompanies this article and deals with the issue …

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