First-of-its-Kind Mobile Phone Application Empowers Adults with Tools to Prevent, Recognize & Respond to Child Sexual Abuse
NEW YORK, September 16, 2016 —The World Childhood Foundation, founded by HM Queen Silvia of Sweden, and non-profit Darkness to Light, both leading organizations working to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children, together with the telecommunications leader Ericsson, today announces the launch of the “Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit.” This tool is the first-of-its kind mobile application that will equip adults with the skills and resources necessary to recognize, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse.
One year following the United Nation’s adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in which goal 16.2 called specifically on “ending child abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence (physical, psychological and sexual) and torture against children by 2030,” the launch of this app is one of the steps in the fight against child sexual abuse and providing protection to the most vulnerable segment of our society, children.
“We live in a digital world and it is crucial that technology is integrated in our fight to end child sexual abuse and not used to enable online child abuse. We, as adults, have an obligation to ensure that our children are surrounded by child protectors. This app empowers adults with the tools to prevent and protect the children in their lives.” HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden.
“Child sexual abuse is a health crisis facing millions of children and with the most serious array of consequences. Our partnership with Ericsson and Darkness to Light is a testament to the power of public and private partnerships to take concrete actions and create solutions that ensure all children are safe and protected.” Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Childhood Foundation USA.
The interactive app, created in partnership between World Childhood Foundation, Darkness to Light and powered by Ericsson technology is an extension of the Childhood USA Eyes Wide Open (EWO) advocacy campaign launched in September 2015 by HRH Princess Madeleine. The app includes videos, quizzes and links to relevant resources including how to report and seek help after a disclosure of sexual abuse has been made. The app content is based on the Darkness to Light educational/training curriculum “Stewards of Children®”.
Users of the app will be able to learn the following:
• Facts about the sexual abuse of children
• How to minimize the risks of sexual abuse
• How to report sexual abuse and seek help
“For Ericsson, development of this app fit well within our Technology for Good ™ efforts and company core values. We know that with technology we can amplify the impact and scale the reach of this important message. Protection of children is something that should resonate with everyone, everywhere, whether you are a company, an NGO or society. Issues like child sexual abuse can be difficult to confront or deal with yet we all within our own sphere of influence can be positive change agents.” Elaine Weidman-Grunewald Senior Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson
“What we know is that child sexual abuse can be prevented when adults are empowered with the tools to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to it. This app will allow us to introduce “Stewards of Children®” training to an entirely new audience of concerned adults, the scale of which brings us closer to our collective vision of a world free from child sexual abuse. We believe that creating a movement requires everyone to play a role and this partnership demonstrates the power of that concept.” Lyndon Haviland, MPh, DrPH, CEO of Darkness to Light.
The Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit app was officially revealed during a high-level meeting at the United Nations organized by the World Childhood Foundation USA, where a group of leaders, including HRH Princess Madeleine, CEOs of blue-chip companies and celebrities including Forest Whitaker and Andrea Bocelli, discussed how to mobilize a global network in order to create concrete solutions for improving the situation of vulnerable children in the world.
About The World Childhood Foundation
World Childhood Foundation was founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden with the mission to defend children’s right to a happy and safe childhood, free from sexual abuse and exploitation. To date, the Foundation has provided support to over 1000 projects in more than 20 countries including the US. In recent years, Queen Silvia’s daughter, HRH Princess Madeleine, launched #EyesWideOpen, a global advocacy initiative with the goal of building greater awareness surrounding the issue of child sexual abuse. #EyesWideOpen provides users with resources to prevent, recognize, and respond to child sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information, visit www.childhood-usa.org and www.thankyou.org/eyeswideopen
About Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light (D2L) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 with the mission to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. Darkness to Light’s flagship program, “Stewards of Children®,” is an evidence informed, award-winning training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse and is based on the 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children™. Several of the Childhood funded projects in the US use Stewards of Children® in their programming. To date, > 1 million adults, educators, youth serving professionals, organization volunteers, and community members have been trained in “Stewards of Children®” which is now the largest training of its kind, with the largest network of child protection advocates in the world. For more information visit www.D2L.org.
Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society – a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, business and society to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.
Our services, software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities. With approximately 115,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks.
In the Networked Society, Ericsson is the leading advocate of Technology for Good ™. It is a concept we are working with every day to achieve shared societal goals and collectively tackle global challenges with partners in areas such as climate change, poverty, education, health, human rights-including children’s rights and protection, as well as humanitarian issues such as refugees, peace-building, disaster response. www.ericsson.com
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