Darkness to Light empowers adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through awareness, education and stigma reduction
Our work is guided by the vision of a world free from child sexual abuse. We envision a world in which adults form prevention-oriented communities that protect the child’s right to a healthy childhood.
We believe that protecting children is an adult’s responsibility, and that through education and training adults will be empowered to act. Our trainings are the only evidence-informed, adult-focused child sexual abuse prevention trainings proven to increase knowledge and change behavior. Our work empowers adults and organizations to bring in child safety to their own communities.
We honor the voices of victims and survivors
We demand accountability
We make deliberate decisions
We value diverse partnerships
We believe in a growth mindset
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a problem that 1 in 10 children will experience before they turn 18. To truly address this problem, we need programs that protect children from sexual abuse alongside evidence-based treatments for children who have already been victimized. In order to create communities free from child sexual abuse, we need to prioritize public awareness and adult education programs that teach the signs of child sexual abuse and the steps necessary to protect children.
Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere. It happens in places like homes, neighborhoods, schools, and youth sports environments, but it also occurs online, such as child pornography or communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet.
To prevent abuse, we have to break through the stigma and shame and talk about how it happens.
Parents and caregivers can support healthy development
of children and the prevention of child sexual abuse.
Young children should know the proper words for their body parts and understand that there are certain parts of their body that are private.
Parents should answer questions children have about their bodies honestly and let children know they can talk about anything that is bothering them.
For older children, parents can have conversations about healthy sexuality and respectful, loving relationships.
Children also need to know that no adult should ever tell them to keep a hurtful secret. Some secrets like birthday gifts are OK, but some secrets are not.
If parents and other professionals want to learn more about how to recognize and respond appropriately to suspected child sexual abuse, the Stewards of Children program can be offered in your child's school or in your community free of charge.