Three Touchstones for Healthy Hugging

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.  Nothing feels more natural than to hug the ones we love. Especially children. And hugs are healthy physically and emotionally, for the giver and the receiver. Think of the many contexts in which we may hug someone: To greet close friends and family As a goodbye To console and comfort Congratulating a job well done Giving affection …

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8 Questions For Safer Summer Sleepovers

                Several of us at Darkness to Light have kids and lately we’ve been talking a lot about sleepovers. It’s summer so just about every week sleepovers and slumber parties are on the list of possible activities. Some in the child sexual abuse prevention field would say that eliminating sleepovers altogether is a fail-safe way of preventing abuse that might otherwise take place during a sleepover. And definitely that’s a parent or caregiver’s prerogative; we always support prioritizing …

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Active Bystanding in Families: How To Approach It

  Without safety, without happiness, without trust, without love, ‘family’ is but a shell. Last week we talked about active bystanding in families and the uncertainty it can create. We explored the prospect of what we may have to lose when we confront child sexual abuse or boundary violations in a family and why on earth we would do it. We sought that which was even more valuable than family cohesion, security, history, and tradition. And we discovered that it was perhaps on behalf of family …

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Holding a “Breaking the Silence” Screening – Thoughts From a Facilitator

“It was the easiest thing to do. It’s a natural way to introduce not only the issue of child sexual abuse to the community, but Stewards of Children® and Darkness to Light too.” Tracy Leonard, SCAN of Northern Virginia Tracy Leonard of SCAN shared with Darkness to Light about the successful screenings of Breaking the Silence that she conducted last month in the cities of Ashburn and Alexandria, Virginia. She felt that the events worked well because they were an excellent way to promote prevention …

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Active Bystanding In Families

There comes a time in your growth when you start making choices from a very different place. And if a choice lines up so that it supports truth, health, happiness, wisdom and love, it’s the right choice. Angeles Arrien, Cultural Anthropologist Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been discussing Active Bystanding, and we’ve framed it as two types of bystander action – bystander prevention and bystander intervention. Bystander prevention is getting way out ahead of a boundary violation by talking with kids about their …

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Storybooth Shares Dee’s Story of Sexual Abuse

If you don’t have time to read this entire post, just click the video link and start watching. Trust us. You don’t want to miss this powerful video. This compelling animation is a true child sexual abuse survivor story from an 11 year old named Dee. Dee was fortunate that when she told a trusted adult of her sexual abuse, she was believed and appropriate intervention happened. We hope this story imparts the very valuable message that as concerned adults, it’s our responsibility that we be there to …

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Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for Busy Parents

By Laura Landgraf, Author, Activist, and Speaker Nothing compares with the moments my children were born. My son offered his opinion of the process instantly with an indignant wail. I laughed in delight. My daughter, after being placed on my tummy, quietly contemplated me with her great big eyes. I melted in that gaze. I vowed to honor the individuality of each of them, to foster their uniqueness. I would guide them, teach them, keep them safe from harm, and lay down my life for …

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YMCAs Continue Efforts to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

The article below originally appeared on March 2, 2016 in the online version of the Lexington, NC Dispatch.  The J. Smith Young YMCA and Tom A. Finch Community YMCA have joined together in an effort to train five percent of the Davidson County adult population in families, schools and youth serving organizations with Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children” child sexual abuse prevention program. As of Feb. 15, approximately 2,200 adults have been trained, laying the foundation for a proactive, community wide approach to prevention, …

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Being a Hero and Talking About Child Sexual Abuse

Spring is here and April is just around the corner. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Darkness to Light is working to encourage everyone to TALK about child sexual abuse. This TEDx Talk, by Jill Tolles, perfectly illustrates why TALKING ABOUT IT is something we ALL must do to protect children for sexual abuse. Watch the talk below and get a sneak peek into what we have planned for Child Abuse Awareness Month on

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An Excerpt from Matt Sandusky’s New Book “Undaunted”

This following is an excerpt from the new book “Undaunted: Breaking My Silence to Overcome the Trauma of Child Sexual Abuse” by Matt Sandusky. In the passage and accompanying video, Matt talks about the grooming process he experienced and how we can protect children from grooming behaviors. To purchase the book, visit Grooming reminds me of the story about the frog in hot water. If you put a frog in boiling hot water to stew him, he’ll do everything he can to get out. Yet …

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