The National Children’s Advocacy Center on the Declining Rates of Child Sexual Abuse

The position paper below was originally published by the National Children’s Advocacy Center. It cites Darkness to Light’s prevalence research and calls for a new messaging that celebrates the strides that have been made and leverages that success to bolster future prevention efforts.  For many years, many child sexual abuse professionals including those within Children’s Advocacy Centers have held to a similar mantra – one in four girls and one in seven boys are victims of sexual abuse or assault before the age of 18. These alarming …

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Why 1 in 10? A New Statistic For A New Era

The statistic that 1 in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday is one of the most staggering statistics we have regarding the impact of child sexual abuse. This statistic is different than the widely accepted “1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys.” We are often asked, “Why are you using a different statistic?” Let’s take a look at the answer to that and other frequently asked questions regarding 1 in 10. I read that 1 in 4 girls and 1 …

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World Childhood Foundation, Ericsson & Darkness to Light Launch “Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit” Mobile App

First-of-its-Kind Mobile Phone Application Empowers Adults with Tools to Prevent, Recognize & Respond to Child Sexual Abuse NEW YORK, September 16, 2016 —The World Childhood Foundation, founded by HM Queen Silvia of Sweden, and non-profit Darkness to Light, both leading organizations working to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children, together with the telecommunications leader Ericsson, today announces the launch of the “Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit.” This tool is the first-of-its kind mobile application that will equip adults with the skills and resources necessary …

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The “What If?” Game: Confident, Competent Kids

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.  When I was a child, my mom played a game with me that she called “Opposites.” This must have started when I was about three. Is that too precocious? Maybe I was four. Anyway, in the Opposites Game my mom would say a word, and I was supposed to shout out its opposite. “Inside,” she would say. …

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SPOTLIGHT on Child Sexual Abuse

Several of Darkness to Light’s staff members went to see the movie Spotlight on opening night in Charleston. The film covers the investigative reporting of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team in exposing the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. We work at an organization committed to empowering adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and are immersed in the problem of sexual abuse. Yet despite our daily exposure to the issue, we left the theater without uttering a single word to each other. We walked dumbstruck to our cars, each lost …

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Educators Arrested for Failing to Report Abuse

Excerpt from DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – A substitute teacher and staff member from Darlington High School were recently arrested for failing to report alleged abuse by a pastor who is accused of inappropriately touching a boy, according to Darlington Police Chief Danny Watson. Two days before the arrest of pastor Jamron Reames, a Darlington High School student went to 22-year-old Corey Wells and 24-year-old Brandon Johnson, according to a Darlington Police report. The victim said he went to Wells, a music appreciation teacher, who …

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Obligated to Protect: The Need for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in Organizations

In late November, Penn State settled with six more victims of convicted child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky, growing the university’s total payout to an astonishing $93 million. Penn State’s financial payments should serve notice, that as a nation we are overdue for a plan for child sexual abuse prevention in youth serving organizations, educational settings, and frankly everywhere our children live, learn, and play. Following Sandusky’s 2012 conviction, the media has prompted ongoing debate about the university’s response to the initial abuse allegations. Across the …

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Jared Fogle and the Denial of Child Sexual Abuse

[Jared Fogle (C) is led from federal court in Indianapolis, Indiana August 19, 2015. REUTERS/Susan Guyett] By Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH Yet another high profile child sexual abuse scandal is in the news.  Yesterday, former subway pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography and sex charges. While Fogle had the book thrown at him, the nation is missing an opportunity to move from shock and dismay into action.  We do not need another high …

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Did You Know?

                             Help us tell the world that one million is not enough. Share this graphic to help spread awareness of the issue and then join the Darkness to Light movement to protect children at

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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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