As we approach the end of the year, our team has been reflecting on the amazing things we’ve achieved in collaboration with our partners – from surpassing 1.8 million adults trained to launching our new prevention paradigm.
We continue to push forward to help better protect children and as we look forward to 2020, we are inspired for the future of prevention and excited to celebrate our 20th year as an organization. Let’s take a look at some milestones you made possible:
1.8 Milion Trained
In February we hit 1.7 million adults trained, but the excitement didn’t stop there. In July, with our partners, we announced 1.8 million adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This is no small undertaking and it would not be possible without thousands of dedicated volunteers worldwide. As we move into our 20th year of Darkness to Light, we are excited to continue the national dialogue around child sexual abuse, further reduce stigma, and educate more adults to protect children.
At the Heart of Gold
In May, HBO released the powerful documentary At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, directed by Erin Lee Carr, that reveals a dangerous system that prioritized winning over everything else, including protecting young female athletes. Along with other organizations, we partnered with HBO to provide resources and create a viewing guide for individuals to learn more about child sexual abuse prevention and provide resources for survivors impacted by the film. The film has great examples that reinforce what we know about how abuse occurs and how adults can better protect children.
Girls on the Run Training:
Darkness to Light partnered with the national nonprofit Girls on the Run to create a customized child sexual abuse prevention education training for their staff, coaches, and volunteers. Girls on the Run is “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” Their program builds confidence and establishes the crucial link between our physical and mental health. The mobile responsive 45-minute training, founded on our 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children, contains expert and survivor testimonials, as well as insight and organizational policy examples from Girls on the Run staff and team members. The training provides strategies to prevent and respond to sexual abuse and reinforces why making choices, taking personal risks, and supporting others are essential skills for protecting children. We are grateful to have Girls on the Run as a partner and are excited to start and foster the prevention conversation.
Our President & CEO, Katelyn N. Brewer attended the YMCA’s landmark 175th-anniversary conference – YMCA175 in London. Young leaders from more than 100 countries representing six continents attended. Katelyn hosted a session on consent and how a new generation is defining their right to physical and sexual consent. The session discusses how leaders around the globe are facilitating conversations in their communities to explore why consent to sexual activity is key to gender equality and safe and harmonious societies.
Social Behavioral Change Approach:
This year we officially launched The Prevention Paradigm for Child Sexual Abuse, an evidence-informed theory of change based on a social behavior change (SBC) approach. Using a human-centered design framework, this new strategy addresses the target audience’s willingness and ability to prevent abuse and recognizes that adults exist in a social system, all influencing each other’s ability to affect change. We focus on three areas of support to achieve the prevention paradigm: comprehensive prevention programming, advocacy for stakeholder engagement and ownership, and training to improve awareness and skills among adults.
With nearly 200 attendees, our third annual National Prevention Conference, IGNITE 2019, took place in early October in Framingham, MA. IGNITE highlighted child protection efforts from across the county, as well as inspired new approaches and ideas. Marci Hamilton, the Founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, joined us as a keynote speaker to discuss how to empower victims through access to justice. Hamilton is the leading expert on child sexual abuse statutes of limitations and has submitted testimony and advised legislators in every state where significant reform has occurred. Aly Raisman also joined the IGNITE line-up for a keynote discussion with our President & CEO Katelyn. N. Brewer followed by a group meditation. We had 23 breakout sessions with 42 presenters who shared their energy and expertise with the group. We can’t wait for IGNITE 2020 being hosted in our headquarters city of Charleston, SC next year.
Want to see more? Check out our 2019 fiscal year accomplishments!
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