Active Bystanding In Families

There comes a time in your growth when you start making choices from a very different place. And if a choice lines up so that it supports truth, health, happiness, wisdom and love, it’s the right choice.

Angeles Arrien, Cultural Anthropologist

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been discussing Active Bystanding, and we’ve framed it as two types of bystander action - bystander prevention and bystander intervention. Bystander prevention is getting way out ahead of a boundary violation by talking with kids about their personal boundaries and putting safe structures and rules in place in their environments....
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Storybooth Shares Dee’s Story of Sexual Abuse

If you don't have time to read this entire post, just click the video link and start watching. Trust us. You don't want to miss this powerful video. This compelling animation is a true child sexual abuse survivor story from an 11 year old named Dee. Dee was fortunate that when she told a trusted adult of her sexual abuse, she was believed and appropriate intervention happened. We hope this story imparts the very valuable message that as concerned adults, it’s our responsibility that we be there to listen to a child, provide support, and know the steps to intervene or report abuse...
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Active Bystanding: It’s a Jungle Out There! – Part 2

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. Last week we explored Greta’s story as a great example of Bystander Prevention. We said that Bystander Prevention is getting way out ahead of any harm to a child by being alert to potential boundary violations and grooming, and essentially heading them off at the pass. Bystander Prevention is doing Steps 1, 2 and 3 of The 5 Steps to...
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Active Bystanding: It’s a Jungle Out There! – Part 1

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. The team at Darkness to Light has been having a lot of conversation recently about what it is to be an engaged bystander. We’ve really gotten into the weeds about it, too. We all agree that bystander engagement is a #1 priority when it comes to preventing sexual abuse. Why? Because as we like to say, “The...
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Portrait of a Perpetrator

What does a person who sexually abuses children look like? We hear all the time, “I would be able to tell if he was a child molester.” The reality is that you can’t. Most child molesters aren’t creepy men in vans. They aren’t hardened criminals. They aren’t from one race, gender, or sexual orientation. Those who sexually abuse children look and act just like everyone else. The chances are that you have met an offender and never even realized it. They often seek out “safe” neighborhoods, churches, schools, and youth sports leagues – any place that gives them...
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Challenge Made Easy(er) with D2L

By Kate Nyquist, Education Services Manager, Center for Child Protection, Austin, TX “Could I please get a volunteer to stand up and tell us about your last sexual experience?” This is typically the way I grab the attention of those who aren’t yet willing to make eye contact with me during the difficult subject matter of child sexual abuse in community trainings. Of course I never get volunteers but it helps push everyone’s discomfort so far that the group dynamics inevitably turn to laughter. As always demonstrated by this awkward question, sex in itself is already a taboo conversation. One we might only...
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Talking to My Community: Insisting on Childcare Protections

By Erika Rowell, Program Support Manager, Darkness to Light  As a new mother, I was tasked with the responsibility of choosing a childcare provider for my son.  What a scary and overwhelming task this is for a parent! You’re choosing the people that will be spending 8 to 10 hours a day with your child. Going back to work after having a child is already a very emotional time, and knowing that your little person is in safe hands can make all the difference. I researched and toured close to 10 centers before selecting the daycare my son now attends. When interviewing the childcare...
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Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for Busy Parents

By Laura Landgraf, Author, Activist, and Speaker Nothing compares with the moments my children were born. My son offered his opinion of the process instantly with an indignant wail. I laughed in delight. My daughter, after being placed on my tummy, quietly contemplated me with her great big eyes. I melted in that gaze. I vowed to honor the individuality of each of them, to foster their uniqueness. I would guide them, teach them, keep them safe from harm, and lay down my life for them, if necessary, such was the magnitude of love, especially in those precious first moments. I had...
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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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