Talking About It: The Prevention Cure for this Silent Epidemic

by Jill Tolles, Child Sexual Abuse Survivor and Speaker Talking about Child Sexual Abuse can feel scary and awkward, particularly for survivors. I know firsthand. In January of 2016, I broke my own silence in front of 1,400 people in my hometown at a TEDx Event arranged by my colleagues from the University where I teach. For months I debated whether or not I should share my story to members of my own community. What happened afterward was remarkable. I was overwhelmed by the number of men and women who have approached me since then to share...
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Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse – One in the Same

The trafficking of children, also known as the commercial sexual exploitation of children, IS child sexual abuse. While not all children who are sexually abused go on to become commercially exploited, 70-90% of children who have been commercially exploited in some way have experienced non-commercial child sexual abuse. Knowing this, we can help to prevent the trafficking of children when we prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Watch the video below to learn more about commercial sexual exploitation and read the blog that follows. The following blog post was provided by the aunt of a young girl...
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Yes, We’re Growing Up: The Upside of Risk

Two-Minutes-Header 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.  No matter what their age or how it comes up, talking with kids about sex and bodies feels like a risk. For most of us it just has that edge. A lot of people think of risk and hazard interchangeably. Like, “Despite the risk, he dashed into oncoming traffic.” Or, “Put up a Wet Floor sign to alert...
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Lessons of Motherhood

I have to admit, I’m not a helicopter mom. At least I don’t think I am. I remember one of the very first lessons I learned as a new mother. I read that if your kid trips and falls down, you’re not supposed to rush to their side with an overly excited, “Are you ok?” Something about that response teaches them that whatever just happened was supposed to hurt them, even if it didn’t. And I guess that kind of laid the groundwork for my parenting style. I like to encourage my son to figure things out for himself, but...
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Talking to Kids About Digital Safety and Citizenship

By Doug Galluccio, Detective for the City of Charleston Police Department As a detective who often sees the negative impacts of the internet on children, I feel that education is a major component with regards to internet safety. The internet provides an opportunity for children to learn, explore their world, and socialize with friends. By understanding the potential dangers your children face, you can more easily communicate with them about having safer digital experiences. There are so many positive things that children can encounter online, including new ways to learn and connect with the world around them. However, being online and vulnerable can also put children...
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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, according to a press release. This builds momentum toward educating and empowering all adults to...
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The “What If?” Game: Confident, Competent Kids

Two-Minutes-Header 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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Safe, Not Sterile: Showing Affection

Two-Minutes-Header 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.  One of the best things about children, especially the little ones, is their openness and receptivity. Simply by their nature, children call forth our affection. Being in the presence of a child, we smile. We find ways to make ourselves smaller, less threatening. We ask questions and listen. We show enthusiasm. We mirror.  If the child knows...
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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 D2Lblog.org/talk. ...
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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 www.amazon.com. 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 if you put a...
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