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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Health and Human Services’

The Issue of Child Sexual Abuse…

February 19, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you. We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Stewards of Children is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors. This revolutionary program is for any responsible adult who cares about the welfare of children. It is also appropriate for youth-serving organizations (sports leagues, day care centers, after school programs, children’s clubs, church groups and more).

Who Uses the Program?

Stewards of Children is for any responsible adult who cares about the protection of children. It is also used by individuals, organizations, businesses, and corporations who:

  • Seek training for staff and volunteers in the prevention of child sexual abuse.
  • Look to enhance their child protection policies and procedures or respond to insurance requirements.
  • Want to lead a community-based initiative and offer prevention training to the community.

What Topics are Covered in Stewards of Children?

  • Facts about the problem of child sexual abuse.
  • The types of situations in which child sexual abuse might occur.
  • Simple, effective strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse.
  • The importance of talking about the prevention of sexual abuse with children and other adults.
  • The signs of sexual abuse so you that you might intervene and be able to react responsibly.

What Outcomes Can Be Expected After Training?

  • Increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences and circumstances of child sexual abuse
  • New skills for adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse
  • Proactive, positive change to organizational policies and procedures
  • Individual commitment to action via a personal prevention plan

How is the program delivered?

Stewards of Children is available in two formats: ONLINE and Facilitator Led. The content of the programs is identical and both include three main sections including video commentary by adult survivors and experts in the field.

How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?

Stewards of Children typically takes about 2.5 – 3 hours. Think about it — in just 2.5 hours, you’ll have the information you need to better protect every child you know. The ONLINE version of the training does not have to be completed in one sitting — you can pause anywhere in the program and pick it up later without losing your place.

 

Dancing with the Stars Pro Shares Her Story of Abuse; “I Was Molested”, Cheryl Burke

February 11, 2011 3 comments

 

As any fan of Dancing with the Stars knows, Cheryl Burke exudes confidence when she’s waltzing, quick-stepping or doing the tango in front of millions.

But for the two-time DWTS champ, life wasn’t always so smooth: As a child, Burke was repeatedly molested by a friend of her family’s – and testified against him in court, helping send him to prison for nearly two decades.

“I’m telling my story,” says Burke, 26, who opens up about the molestation – and other struggles, including physical abuse by two former boyfriends – in her new book Dancing Lessons, (coauthored by PEOPLE senior writer Monica Rizzo). “They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”

Burke’s abuser was a retired mailman who was trusted and well liked in Burke’s Bay Area community. He would sometimes pick Burke up from school and do odd jobs around her home. The assaults began when she was 5.

After he was accused of targeting other children, Burke acknowledged her own abuse. But, still reeling from her parents’ split when she was a baby, she was wracked with confusion.

“I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection,” she says, calling testifying against him “the hardest thing I’ve ever done … I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?’ ”

Eventually, with the man in prison and years of therapy, Burke came to see just how wrong her abuser was.

Now, with season 12 of DWTS beginning in March, Burke is ready to tell her story. “If I can help just one person,” she says, “for me that’s all that matters.”

Cheryl Burke is now the latest in a long list of celebrities who have bravely told their story in the last year. We hope these stories will help make sexual abuse a more “speakable” issue in our society – for both the millions of survivors that carry their abuse in secret and for the millions and millions of children we can protect from ever being abused.

We look forward to the day when one of the many celebrity survivors comes forward and joins us in our fight to spread the word about how abuse can be stopped to begin with! We can prevent child sexual abuse!

Darkness to Light History, Ending Child Sexual Abuse

February 6, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you.We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

A Brief History

In 2000, Anne Lee, now Darkness to Light’s President and CEO, developed and implemented a strategy for a non-profit primary prevention program with the mission of reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse through public awareness and education. With tremendous community support, over $100,000 was raised and an award-winning media campaign was developed and launched in June of 2001.

In 2002 “7 Steps to Protecting our Children: A Guide for Responsible Adults” was created and Time, Inc agreed to place ads in various magazines they publish. In 2003 the documentary Childhood Stories was produced by the award-winning team of Breslin-Dunn. The documentary details the stories of four adult survivors of sexual abuse from various backgrounds and life experiences.

In 2004 we began work on an interactive sexual abuse prevention training program, called Stewards of Children, a 2 1/2 hour training program for adults. And, CNN began running Darkness to Light public service announcements nationally. These pro-bono ads were designed to increase awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse and to drive viewers to educational materials. CNN is still a significant supporter today and countless organizations and individuals have found us because of an ad they saw on CNN.

In 2006, Stewards of Children ONLINE was released as a web based version of the “live” or facilitated version of the training program.

Today we have more than 2,500 Facilitators who teach the program in 48 states and 10 additional countries and more than 200,000 copies of the Stewards of Children curriculum have been distributed and the program is also available in Spanish and Icelandic.

Other Noteworthy Accomplishments

Gracie’s Choice

Darkness to Light partnered with Lifetime Television on the issue of child abuse. The lifetime original movie, Gracie’s Choice, stars Anne Heche, Diane Ladd, and Kristen Bell. The movie was orginally aired in 2002.  “Gracie’s Choice” on Amazon

Darkness to Light Featured in Parenting Magazine

“Are you doing all you can to protect your child from sexual abuse? The standard advice is wrong: Here’s what it takes to really keep kids safe.” By Jessica Snyder Sachs Preventing the Unthinkable

Article Printed in October, 2003 Parenting Magazine  www.parenting.com

Darkness to Light Named as Noteworthy Public Awareness and Education Campaign by the Department of Health and Human Services

Darkness to Light was recognized in a report released April 2003 called Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The report stated “Darkness to Light is a noteworthy public awareness and education campaign in that it shifts the responsibility of child sexual abuse prevention from children to adults.

Utilizing common sense messages for adults and parents, the public service announcements and advertisements center around preventing situations from happening, recognizing signs and reacting responsibly. The initiative also follows up their media message by providing a hotline for information and referral to local resources, and is developing a training and education program for educators, the faith community, and physicians on recognizing and responding to signs of child sexual abuse.”

McGruff™ Names Stewards of Children 2007 Crime Prevention Program of the Year!

The National Crime Prevention Council has named Darkness to Light their Crime Prevention Program of the Year for 2007. The McGruff Crime Prevention Award for Excellence was presented at the National Conference on Preventing Crime in Atlanta on October 4th.

Federal Grant from Health and Human Services Allows for Training of SC Department of Education

With the partnership of the South Carolina Department of Education and a federal grant from Health and Human Services, 20,000 educators were trained by Darkness to Light, making SC the first state to train teachers state wide.

 

Presidential Proclamation–National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2010

October 4, 2010 Comments off

Presidential Proclamation–National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2010

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
October 01, 2010
Presidential Proclamation–National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2010

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we have broken the silence surrounding domestic violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives.  While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in her lifetime.  During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them.

My Administration is committed to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence.  Last year, I appointed the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women to collaborate with the many Federal agencies working together to end domestic violence in this country.  Together with community efforts, these Federal programs are making important strides towards eliminating abuse.

The landmark Affordable Care Act also serves as a lifeline for domestic violence victims.  Before I signed this legislation in March, insurance companies in eight States and the District of Columbia were able to classify domestic violence as a pre existing condition, leaving victims at risk of not receiving vital treatment when they are most vulnerable.  Now, victims need not fear the additional burden of increased medical bills as they attempt to protect themselves and rebuild their lives.

Individuals of every race, gender, and background face domestic violence, but some communities are disproportionately affected.  In order to combat the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault in tribal areas, I signed the Tribal Law and Order Act to strengthen tribal law enforcement and its ability to prosecute and fight crime more effectively.  This important legislation will also help survivors of domestic violence get the medical attention, services, support, and justice they need.

Children exposed to domestic violence, whether victims or witnesses, also need our help.  Without intervention, they are at higher risk for failure in school, emotional disorders, substance abuse, and perpetrating violent behavior later in life.  That is why my Administration has launched the “Defending Childhood” initiative at the Department of Justice to revitalize prevention, intervention, and response systems for children exposed to violence.  The Department of Health and Human Services is also expanding services and enhancing community responses for children exposed to violence.

Ending domestic violence requires a collaborative effort involving every part of our society.  Our law enforcement and justice system must work to hold offenders accountable and to protect victims and their children.  Business, faith, and community leaders, as well as educators, health care providers, and human service professionals, also have a role to play in communicating that domestic violence is always unacceptable.  As a Nation, we must endeavor to protect survivors, bring offenders to justice, and change attitudes that support such violence.  I encourage victims, their loved ones, and concerned citizens to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 800-799-SAFE or visit:  www.TheHotline.org.

This month — and throughout the year — let each of us resolve to be vigilant in recognizing and combating domestic violence in our communities, and let us build a culture of safety and support for all those affected.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA