Does Obama Have the Back of Our Children Too?

Excerpted from The Huffington Post articleby Eli Verschleiser. President Barack Obama deserves credit for making the war against sexual assault on college campuses a top priority of his administration. In January, he created a task force of senior officials to coordinate federal enforcement efforts. And this month he created a government-run website, notalone.gov, which will provide resources for students, help for victims and help track enforcement efforts. "Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there that has ever been assaulted: you are not alone," said President Obama. "We have your back. I've got your back." It's...
Read More | Leave a comment

Remembering Stewart Birbrower

Darkness to Light mourns the loss of Stewart Birbrower, well known as one of the finest minds in creative advertising, and a strong believer in the power of prevention education. Stew passed away on June 14 at the age of 78, and is survived by Sylvia, his wife of 55 years. In 2000-2001, Stew donated significant time and talent to write, produce, and direct the first Darkness to Light advertising commercials. These ads, “Faces” and “Swings," went on to win gold and silver Telly Awards, as well as an Addy Award. ...
Read More | 4 Comments

The truth about child trafficking

When movies or books address the topic of child trafficking, they tend to show it as something that happens in other countries on other continents. The plot of 2008's Taken involves a 17-year old girl who is kidnapped after she travels to France with a friend, unaccompanied by parents or guardians. The truth is that the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is much more pervasive than people realize. It affects communities and children across the globe, and in many cases, the perpetrator is not some shadowy, menacing figure, but someone who is known and trusted by the child. So, what...
Read More | Leave a comment

The effects of child sexual abuse don’t end in childhood

The effects of child sexual abuse don't stop in childhood. Without proper intervention and treatment, this issue can rob children of their potential and lead to life-long consequences affecting both victims and communities.
  • Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to develop substance abuse problems than those who have not been abused. In fact, adult survivors of child sexual abuse are nearly three times more likely to report substance use problems than non-victims.
  • Mental health issues are a common long-term consequence of child sexual abuse. Adult women who were sexually abused as children are more likely to suffer from depression,
...
Read More | 4 Comments

“The enemy of each and every child is silence.”

On May 12, Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein delivered a powerful, moving message at the University of Pennsylvania. He calls upon each of us to no longer remain silent, to speak out against abuse, and to ensure the children in our lives and communities are protected....
Read More | 2 Comments

Immediate consequences of child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem with the most serious array of consequences. close up girls eyes_Small croppedAs parents and youth serving professionals, it's important to understand the signs of child sexual abuse. They're not always readily apparent, but they're often present. There are several emotional and behavioral issues children immediately face as a result of abuse:   Emotional and Mental Health Problems These are often the first indicators of child sexual abuse. Examples include behavioral problems, physical aggression, non-compliance, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Victims may also display “too...
Read More | 5 Comments

Big Ten schools use bowl revenues to support children

By Jessica Buterbaugh for Penn State News UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the second consecutive year, Big Ten Conference officials have approved the equal distribution of what would have been Penn State’s share of football bowl game revenues to 2013-14 Big Ten member universities. The 12 schools, including Penn State, must distribute the funds to child-focused organizations in their local communities as they deem appropriate. Last year, Penn State worked with the Centre County United Way (CCUW) to determine where these funds were most needed. The donation was then equally distributed between the Stewards of Children education...
Read More | Leave a comment

The role of educators in prevention

Girl Getting On Bus_XSmallEducators may be the single most important group in the prevention and recognition of child sexual abuse. Not only do they see and work with large numbers of children every day, but children who disclose abuse often tell a teacher. In fact, educators are the source of over half of the abuse reports made by professionals to the authorities. How can we let sexual abuse happen to our community’s children when there are effective and inexpensive strategies for both prevention and intervention? Training for educators, combined with proactive policies...
Read More | Leave a comment

The need for educational reform

Teacher with Globe_XSmallGovernment agencies and educational institutions constantly work together to develop strategies to improve academic achievement, particularly for children who are disadvantaged. The problem is that in many cases, we are treating a symptom rather than the root issue. Even the best educational strategies mean nothing to a child traumatized by sexual abuse. So how does child sexual abuse relate to academic achievement? The answer might surprise you. Research shows that children who are sexually abused perform at far lower levels than those who haven't experienced abuse:
  • Cognitive ability, academic achievement, and memory are
...
Read More | 1 Comment

How to handle boundary violations

On April 30, D2L held its very first Reddit AMA on child sexual abuse prevention in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month. We received many great questions that will be featured in our May blog series. QUESTION Please help resolve a long-standing debate with a friend of mine who lets her bf tickle her daughter (and the kid hates it). Do you consider tickling a form of sexual abuse? OUR ANSWER Tickling in and of itself is not abuse. From tickling to wrestling, kids often enjoy rough and tumble activities with friends and family. The key is that the boyfriend is...
Read More | 2 Comments