STEP 1: LEARN THE FACTS AND UNDERSTAND THE RISKS
“Darkness to Light” is a new nationwide initiative designed to teach parents and grandparents how to protect children by teaching them the 7 Steps to Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse.
“The Child Advocacy Center began implementing the ‘Darkness to Light’ Project in September 2012. Since then, the Center has trained 1,571 adults how to protect children from child sexual abuse and what to do if a child reports sexual abuse to them,” said Ryan Wallace, Child Advocacy Center community education coordinator.
Step 1 in the Darkness to Light 7 Steps to Protecting Children from Child Sexual Abuse is to learn the facts and understand the risks.
“It is likely that you know a child who has been abused or is currently being abused,” said Sharon De Boer, Child Advocacy Center executive director. “Experts estimate that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. There are 21 children in my child’s school classroom. Statistically, that means that two of those children will be child sexual abuse victims.”
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center in 2012:
- 90 percent of children who are victims of child sexual abuse know their abuser.
- 60 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by people the family trusts.
- 30 percent of children are sexually abused by family members.
- 40 percent of children are sexually abused by older or more powerful children.
- 10 percent or less of children are sexually abused by a stranger.
- 35 percent of child sexual abuse victims are 11 years old or younger.
The U.S. Department of Justice reported:
- Children and youth were the victims in 66 percent of all sexual offenses reported to law enforcement.
- Children and youth are 2.5 times more likely to be raped than adults.
- Seventy-five percent of child pornography victims are living at home when they are photographed. Parents are often responsible.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that children who live with a single parent who has a live-in partner are at the highest risk. They are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.
You can support the “Darkness to Light” Project by bringing the training to your church, business, school, PTO, or civic group. Learn the facts and do everything you can do to prevent your own children and grandchildren from being sexually abused.
To schedule a Darkness to Light training, please contact Ryan Wallace at the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County (615) 867-9000 or Amanda Pruitt at the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center (615) 563-9915.