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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.

 

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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.

 

University Campus Rapes/Assaults, FALL SEMESTER, 2010…INSIGHT (AND COLLEGE JUST STARTED!)

September 18, 2010 1 comment

University Campus Rapes/Assaults, FALL SEMESTER, 2010…INSIGHT (AND COLLEGE JUST STARTED!)

Kidnapping and sexual assault investigation in the area of the University corridor, UC Riverside Campus…

News headline from the Riverside Police Department:

On Tuesday, September 14, at approximately 8:20 p.m., police received a call of a kidnapping and rape that just occurred in the area of the University corridor in the East Side Neighborhood of Riverside.  Officers contacted the female victim.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears that the victim was kidnapped at gun point outside of a fast food establishment and driven to a separate location off of Chicago Avenue, where she was sexually assaulted and then let go.

The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction in an older model tan minivan with tinted windows.

The suspect is described as a male Hispanic in his early to mid thirties.  The suspect is approximately 5′ 6″, 160 pounds, with a mustache and dark hair combed back.  He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with blue jeans.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Laura Riso at (951) 353-7126.

Police investigate suspected Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC Rape…

HICKORY, NC —

Police are investigating a female student’s report that she was raped on Lenoir-Rhyne University’s campus early Sunday morning, September 12.

The 18-year-old victim told Hickory police she left her dorm to attend a party at another dorm. She was attacked when she left the party and walked home, said Sgt. Brett Porter with the Hickory Police Department. The victim told police she was not drinking at the party.

According to a campus-wide email notification that Lenoir-Rhyne University’s dean of students sent to faculty, staff and students Sunday evening, the assault occurred near the campus between 2 and 4 a.m. on Sunday. The email states Lenoir-Rhyne personnel are assisting Hickory Police Department with the investigation in any way necessary.

The student was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center on Sunday where evidence, including DNA and clothing, were collected. Patrol officers interviewed her Sunday. Investigators interviewed her again Monday night as they worked to investigate the case, Porter said.

“We are in the process of examining video from the university’s security camera system,” he said. “The school’s security personnel is being very helpful in assisting us in doing that. They’re also providing us information about card key entry into various buildings on campus.”

Investigators are working to identify and interview people at the party the victim attended. They will also interview the student’s roommate.

The student told police she was attacked in the 400 block of Eighth Avenue, but has been unable to pinpoint the location of the attack so police can search for evidence, Porter said.

Lenoir-Rhyne University has an emergency call box at each of its residence halls and at its two larger parking lots, said Norris Yoder, director of security for Lenoir-Rhyne University. Calls from the call boxes go directly to campus security, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week so someone will respond to a call.

Sunday’s case is the first sexual assault reported on campus this year. Three sexual assaults were reported in 2009.

Yoder said there were no calls to campus security on Sunday.

“We didn’t get any calls about this until the police department notified us that the victim was at the hospital,” he said.

That was at 4:32 p.m. Sunday, Yoder said.

Hickory police are asking students to remain vigilant.

“The Hickory Police Department’s position is that female students in a college environment should be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups when walking around campus,” Porter said. “Call in any suspicious activity you see to the police department.”

University of Georgia Student reports weekend rape: police search for suspect

An 18-year-old University student reported she was raped at an unknown location after getting into a taxi downtown early Sunday, September 5, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

The woman said she was driven around for about two hours, according to police, and she repeatedly told the driver her address and that she wanted to go home. At some point, the driver stopped at an unknown location and raped the woman, according to police.

The accused rapist is described as an Hispanic male in his 20s with a scruffy beard and a thick accent, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds, ACC Police Capt. Clarence Holeman said.

The incident occurred between midnight and 2:55 a.m. The police made contact with the woman early Sunday at the corner of Baxter Street and Milledge Avenue, Holeman said.

Holeman said alcohol was involved in the incident.

The rape reported early Sunday marks the 13th rape reported in Athens since June.

At this time, though, Holeman said he would treat this rape report as legitimate.

“We’re not even thinking about unfounded claims,” he said. “We’re going to investigate it.”

Shaniya Davis…..Police resume search Monday, 7am Walker Road, Hwy 87, Sanford, NC

November 16, 2009 Comments off

SHIYNA DAVISSANFORD, NC (WTVD) — Police said they will continue a search of the Highway 87 corridor from Spring Lake to Sanford Monday morning. Fayetteville police confirmed Sunday that they were searching on the ground for the missing 5-year-old girl. Chopper 11 footage showed dozens of officers and a Fayetville forensics truck on the scene Sunday afternoon.

Officers were searching Sunday near Walker Road off Highway 87 in the Sanford area.

Sanford is about 40 miles north of Fayetteville. Police did not say if they were looking for a body or if they hoped to find Shaniya Davis alive.

Witnesses told ABC11 Eyewitness News they saw officers searching a ravine in that area at around 10 a.m, Sunday. A State Highway Patrol official confirms their helicopter also aided in the search.

News of the search came a day after Shaniya’s mother Antoinette Davis, 25, was charged in her disappearance Tuesday.

Davis is charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse, prostitution, filing a false police report, and resisting, delaying, or obstructing police.

On Friday, 29-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill was also charged in the case. Police said McNeill was taken into custody after they got a tip from a hotel in Sanford that he had been there with Davis the same morning her mother reported her missing. Detectives said surveillance video at the Comfort Inn showed the man carrying the girl towards an elevator at 6:11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Fayetteville police spokeperson Theresa Chance said McNeill turned himself in Thursday night and has been questioned. She said he admitted to taking Davis.

McNeill has an extensive criminal background. An ABC11 check of his record turned up convictions for selling illegal drugs, assault, shooting into an occupied home, and more.

He was arraigned on first-degree kidnapping charges Friday and was ordered held on $100,000 bond. His lawyer said he would enter a not guilty plea.

Anyone having any information on the current whereabouts of Shaniya Davis is urged to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1856. To leave an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (910) 483-8477.

Please keep this beautiful little girl in your thoughts and prayers.

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