When Kids Are Sold For Sex — They’re Not “Child Prostitutes,” They’re Victims

Excerpt from HuffingtonPost.com When police came upon a 13-year-old girl selling sex in North Hollywood, they promptly handcuffed her, arrested her and hauled her off to detention. As is the case in many states, juvenile prostitution carries a sentence of up to two years in California, according to The Washington Post. While the fallout for this case might seem to have followed a perfectly apt protocol, the girl never should have seen the inside of a cell, just as much as a victim of rape never would. According to federal law, any individual under 18 who performs a commercial sex...
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Man asks to urinate on young boy in McDonald’s restroom

Excerpt from abc13.com CITY OF MONTGOMERY, TX (KTRK) -- Detectives with the City of Montgomery are investigating a bizarre encounter in a McDonald's bathroom that traumatized a little boy. For the May family, a quick stop for dinner on a busy school night turned into quite the wake up call. "Although I completely believed my son and every word he said, it still didn't feel real in that moment," Diane Stoebner-May said. It started with a trip to the bathroom. Christopher is nine years old and didn't want to go into the lady's restroom with his mom. His sister Tori waited...
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Judge: Girl can’t be blamed for her assault

Excerpt from HeraldNet.com ARLINGTON, WA — A lawyer for a private Christian school and one of its teachers won’t be allowed to argue in court that a 14-year-old and her parents bear some responsibility for an inappropriate relationship between the girl and the school’s former principal. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge David Kurtz earlier this week promptly rejected Highland Christian Schools’ attempt to assert an affirmative defense at trial. Kurtz said the law is clear that a child under 16 is incapable of consent and incapable of being considered for contributory fault. “This is fairly straight forward,” Kurtz said. “It will...
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Wesley’s Story

WesleyThere comes a point in the life of a child sexual abuse victim when they are presented with a choice – to remain a victim or to cross over and become a survivor. One of the most important choices I made four years ago is to be a survivor, not a victim, and I have never looked back. As a child, my youth pastor was a family friend and colleague of my father. My parents trusted him to be our babysitter and take us on a variety of fun excursions. But there...
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30 Years of Child Sexual Abuse: One Important Lesson

Yesterday, former BBC DJ Chris Denning was given a prison sentence of 13 years for three decades of child sexual sexual abuse. Denning was convicted on 40 counts of sexual abuse against 24 boys, aged nine to 16. This horrifying example reminds us that child sexual abuse crosses all geographic and socioeconomic boundaries. The court proceedings also show the pattern of abuse - how it happens and why prevention is so important.  
  • "The defendant used the allure first of the record industry and celebrity, and then the world of computer games to entice boys into his company."
  • Grooming is a
...
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The Georgia Initiative: We don’t do this alone

Georgia Moves Towards 5% Adults Trained In Sexual Abuse Prevention Darkness to Light exists only because organizations and individuals around the nation take responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse in their own communities. It is an issue which affects each and every one of us -- and when we all come together big things can happen. Georgia is a stellar example of this, and we are excited to share with you some of the amazing work that’s been happening there. The Georgia Initiative to prevent child sexual abuse is one of the oldest ongoing...
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‘Happy Valley’ – One Story Among Millions

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to participate in a special screening of ‘Happy Valley’, a documentary about the aftermath of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Matt Sandusky, who was also abused by his adoptive father, is an inspiring central figure in the film. Mike Tollin, Co-Chairman of Mandalay Sports Media (MSM) and founding member of Philanthropy and Community Engagement Foundation (PACE), facilitated a Q&A after the film that Matt Sandusky and I participated in. The documentary originally premiered at the Sundance film festival this year. The film examines Joe Paterno’s role in the case...
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Q&A With “Happy Valley” Director Amir Bar-Lev

Excerpt from sportsillustrated.com If you go into “Happy Valley,” the new documentary by filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev, looking for a takedown of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, you’re not going to find it. Nor will you find a bashing of the Penn State administration, Penn State students or Penn State fans. The film rehashes the crimes of longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky but does not solely dwell on them. Bar-Lev (“The Tillman Story”) offers a clinical examination of hot-button themes -- a football-first mindset, the deification of sports heroes, the culture of silence -- without injecting his own voice....
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Inspector: No sign of investigation in 1,111 New Orleans sex crime-related calls

Excerpt from CNN.com The report is full of harrowing details alleging that five New Orleans Police Department detectives in the special victims unit may have failed to investigate sex crimes over a three-year period. But one case stands out. According to the seven-page document released Wednesday by the city's Office of Inspector General, a 2-year-old was brought to a hospital emergency room after an alleged sexual assault. Tests would show the toddler had a sexually transmitted disease, the report said. The detective in the case, who worked in the child abuse unit, wrote in his report that the 2-year-old "did not disclose...
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Darkness to Light’s Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time for families and a time to make cherished memories. Here are a few of D2L's favorite tips to make sure your favorite superheroes, Disney princesses, and zombies are better protected this Halloween. 10599271_789942011051769_1997596578473856804_n 1. Never accept candy from a stranger. 2. Attend a community event held by your school, faith institution, or community center. 3. If older children are trick-or-treating alone, plan an safe route and means of communication. 4. Enter homes only if you are with a trusted adult. Only go to well-lit homes. 5. Remember to use reflective tape for...
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