First Line of Defense

By: Paula Sellars, M.S.W., Author/Director, Stewards of Children Safe adults are the first line of defense against child sexual abuse (CSA). In fact, the adults in a child’s life are most responsible for whether sexual abuse occurs because adults are most capable of the judgment and skill that CSA prevention requires. Understanding how sexual predators groom children is actually quite nuanced. Reducing the opportunity for sexual abuse in organizations takes planning and knowledge. Talking to children about their body boundaries in an age appropriate, non-scary …

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5% of Centre County Adults are Now Empowered to Protect Children

We at D2L congratulate Pennsylvania’s Centre County community for reaching a tipping point in prevention! By training five percent of the adult population in families, schools, and youth serving organizations like the YMCA with Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program, they are creating a new standard of safety. Tipping points occur when issues gain momentum and ignite, and a relatively small amount of people can effect change on a societal level. Darkness to Light encourages every community to educate five …

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Educators who suspected child abuse say they were told to check with parents first

Excerpt from Omaha.com by Martha Stoddard / World-Herald Bureau LINCOLN — A dispute sparked by a student arriving at school with a scratched face and dried, smelly feces on his hands and wrists wound up in court Monday. North Platte teacher Christie Copper and school guidance counselor Stephen Spiehs reported the late March incident to state authorities as suspected child abuse or neglect. On Monday, the two filed a complaint in Lincoln County District Court claiming that school administrators responded to the case by directing …

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Supreme Court allows child abuse disclosure to teachers as evidence

By Sam Hananel for ABC News Statements that children make to teachers about possible abuse can be used as evidence, even if the child does not testify in court, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The ruling is expected to make it easier for prosecutors to convict people accused of domestic violence. The justices said that defendants don’t have a constitutional right to cross-examine child accusers unless their statements to school officials were made for the primary purpose of creating evidence for prosecution. The …

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Keeping Children Safe All Summer Long

Summer is often a favorite time of the year for everyone, especially for kids. Vacations, sports and faith based programs, camps, and more provide a variety of ways that children can enjoy their time before heading back to school. As parents and concerned adults, it’s important we know how to keep the children in our lives safe as they participate in all the activities the summer has to offer. Choosing the right programs and ensuring there are policies in place to protect your child are …

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The Power of Prevention Training for Legislators

New York legislator and staff take Stewards of Children   Recently, Child Advocacy Program (CAP) Executive Director and D2L Authorized Facilitator Jana McDermott provided Stewards of Children training to Congressman Tom Reed of the 23rd District, along with multiple staff from the district office, county executive’s office, and state assemblyman’s office. According to one attendee, “Training was very beneficial and would be great for ANY organization that deals with youth. I wish we had taken this training a few years ago when I worked for …

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Summer Programs and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Prevention can’t take a summer break. Recently, D2L had the privilege of meeting with educators, youth workers, and child advocacy center staff members in the Beaumont region of Texas. This area has a thriving child sexual abuse prevention initiative, and everyone we spoke with had a unique perspective on why prevention is important for parents and anyone who works with children. Julie Prudhome, one of the fantastic staff members of the Garth House, Mickey Mehaffy Children’s Advocacy Program, gave great advice on the particular need …

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Jep Robertson’s Myth-Busting Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse

Jep Robertson, a featured cast member of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality show, has disclosed that at age six, he was sexually abused by an older youth. Talking about child sexual abuse is one of the bravest actions a survivor can take. Those who disclose abuse often face disbelief and even victim shaming from those who do not understand the issue, or how difficult it is for survivors to share their experiences. We have seen that with Robertson, as well. When less than 40 percent of …

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Crossing the Line: Child and Teen Sexual Abuse

Excerpt from WPSDLocal6.com. By: TODD FAULKNER Child and teen sexual abuse in the area is difficult to talk about for many people. Preventing it can be just as challenging, but it is important. Lauren Barks with the Purchase Area Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center works to prevent abuse. “We’re really trying to change the culture of not talking about it, to talking about it and talking about what we can do to improve things,” Barks said. “And it really just leaves those adults empowered …

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Moving the conversation from scandal to prevention

In my time at D2L, it hasn’t been the statistics or the headlines that startle me most. Instead, it’s the lack of national awareness of child sexual abuse as an issue that affects everyone and needs to be addressed. We believe children should have environments that protect and nurture, but we don’t see that this issue is affecting children in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and homes. I am guilty of this, as well. I’ve supported many worthy organizations over the years – animal rescues, cancer organizations, …

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