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We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end child 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 child sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if child sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and educational programs to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Learn how to PREVENT
child sexual abuse

A Brief History

In 2000, Darkness to Light was created as a nonprofit 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 child sexual abuse prevention training program, called Stewards of Children, available for parents, youth serving organizations, and communities across the nation and globe. Around this time, 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. Countless organizations and individuals 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.

In 2013, we released a new version of Stewards of Children, updated to reflect current issues facing today's children and communities. This training features a new cast of survivors, experts, and concerned adults, and focuses on The 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children, a modern take on the original 7 Steps. The online version also received a complete makeover thanks to an Impact Grant from Cornerstone Foundation. Currently, Stewards of Children is available online or through a facilitator-led session, in both English and Spanish.

In 2014, we debuted "Into the Light," a documentary taking a deeper look at child sexual abuse and its effects through the eyes of survivors, most of whom are featured in the newest version of Stewards of Children.

Today we have 7,700 authorized facilitators who teach the program in 50 states and 16 international locations, and more than 920,000 copies of the training have been distributed to communities around the world.

Other Noteworthy Accomplishments


2014 Telly Award Winner

2013 CLASSY Award Top 5 Nominee

2013 Social Responsibility Champion Award from NJ Alliance of YMCAs

2007 National Crime Prevention Council Crime Prevention Program of the Year

Darkness to Light recognized as a Model Program by the Office of Juvenile Justive and Delinquency Prevention

In 2013, Darkness to Light was recognized as a Model Program and Promising Practice by OJJDP.

From their website: "The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide (MPG) contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. It is a resource for practitioners and communities about what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety."

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."

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

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.



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