Beau Biden to be honored at Circle of Light Gala 2011

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NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: J. Dean Foster, 843.735.5070, dean@fosteramg.com

Or, Jolie Logan, 843.965.5444, jlogan@D2L.org

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Delaware Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden, III

To Receive 2011 “Voice of Courage” Award from Darkness to Light

Biden Makes Child Sexual Abuse Prevention a Statewide Priority;

Thousands of Delaware Employees to Receive Training

Charleston, S.C.  – Oct. 27, 2011 – Darkness to Light (D2L), a national nonprofit organization working to empower and teach adults to prevent child sexual abuse, today announced it will honor Delaware Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden, III with a 2011 Voice of Courage Award.

Biden and other recipients will be honored at D2L’s Circle of Light™ gala Thursday, Nov. 17 at Gaillard Auditorium in Charleston, SC. For event background and tickets, please visit www.d2l.org/gala.

Biden, the son of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, will join past Voice of Courage honorees including John Walsh, victim rights advocate and host of America’s Most Wanted; actress Anne Heche; and Miss America 1958 Marilyn Van Derbur. Other past corporate recipients include Time, Inc., Redwoods Insurance Group, CNN, and Volvo of North America.

The award will recognize Biden and the Delaware Stewards of Children Steering Committee for their leadership to push D2L’s Stewards of Children™ training throughout the state and beyond. The training teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Through Biden’s leadership, the Delaware Stewards of Children Steering Committee was created with a statewide goal to train 35,000 adults by 2015. The initiative has already trained all 330 Delaware Family Court Employees. More than 25 employees from the Attorney General’s office have completed “Facilitator” training that certifies them to lead training sessions for others.

The statewide program is known as the Delaware Prevention Initiative and includes a partnership with YMCA of Delaware and Prevent Child Abuse Delaware. The program has emerged as a model for other states to implement.

Michael Graves, President of the YMCA of Delaware, said the goal to train 35,000 adults was inspired after meeting with D2L leaders. Graves said that number is the state’s “tipping point” to create mass sentiment and behavioral change to end child sexual abuse.

“It is not a child’s job to protect him or herself from abuse, it’s our job,” said Biden on the initiative announcement earlier this year.

“That’s why the Delaware AG’s Office announced we are partnering with state child advocacy groups and the YMCA of Delaware to offer training for adults on how to spot signs of child sexual abuse and report it,” he said. “State law requires people who believe child abuse or neglect is occurring to report it to the proper authorities. If we can get five-percent of our population to do it, we will change the dialogue and we will save and protect kids in a way that we’ve never been able to do in the state.”

About Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

Crime and behavioral studies have long cited CSA for its devastating impact on society. Statistics are startling, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse & Neglect:

  • 95% of abuse is by someone the child knows and trusts.
  • 73% of children don’t tell anyone until well after the abuse has occurred, if they tell at all.
  • Statistically, approximately 500,000 babies born in the U.S. each year will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.
  • In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • CSA is linked to a host of social issues including teen pregnancy, psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.
  • CSA ranks second to murder as the most expensive victim crime in the U.S., where costs exceed $35 billion annually.

About Darkness to Light (D2L)

D2L has championed the movement to end child sexual abuse (CSA) since its founding in 2000. To date, D2L’s prevention education programs have trained more than 300,000 adults and 3,600 teaching facilitators in 49 states and 15 foreign countries.

Youth serving organizations such as YMCAs, schools, faith centers, camps, sports organizations and others may earn D2L’s Partner in Prevention designation by implementing CSA policy and training staff. Partner in Prevention is now recognized as a leading symbol for organizations that take CSA prevention seriously.

Independent third-parties, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Crime Victims Center and several leading hospitals and universities, among others, routinely evaluate and validate D2L’s methodology and training materials.


For more information, please visit www.D2L.org.

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