CHARLESTON, S.C., July 29 Thousands of South Carolina public school teachers and educators are being trained to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to signs of child sexual abuse.
The training programs are sponsored by Darkness to Light (D2L), a Charleston-based non-profit dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse through education and public awareness.
D2L has formed a training partnership with the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE). To date, 9,100 state teachers and educators have been through the prevention course, including 50 guidance counselors just this past week. The Charleston County School District launches teacher training in August and new initiatives are planned in nearby Berkeley County and Dorchester 2 school districts.
"There is nothing more important than the safety of our children," said Dr. Jim Rex, SCDE Superintendent. "We are proud of our partnership with Darkness to Light, and it is great to see so many organizations, businesses and influential people focused on the safety and security of our schools and communities."
About Darkness to Light and Child Sexual Abuse
D2L is a national non-profit, 501c3, and has created prevention education programs in 47 states and 10 foreign countries. These "Stewards of Children" training programs form a grass roots push at the community level to educate parents, youth service organizations, youth sports leagues and coaches, faith centers and teachers / school leaders.
In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 40 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse. It is linked to a host of social issues including teen pregnancy, psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. Statistics show one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before age 18. Additionally, it ranks second to murder as the most expensive victim crime in the U.S., where costs exceed $35 billion annually.
Prevent-a-Thon is hosted by D2L as a series of 70 free prevention trainings throughout the month of August.
The goal of this year's event is to educate 5,000 adults. The prevention programs include video instruction and interactive workbook tools that enable adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of the sexual abuse of children. The training is open to the public.
Anne Lee, Founder and President of Darkness to Light, says public education is an essential tool to provide real impact to prevent sexual abuse of children. She points to leading research that shows educating five-percent of a community's adult population can create a "tipping point" that leads to measurable societal behavior change.
Online training is available and workshop schedules may be found at www.d2l.org.
Social Media Challenge
D2L supporters have issued a Prevent-a-Thon fundraiser challenge, "$30,000 in 30 Days" on social sites Twitter and Facebook. Supporters will match donations made on the sites and encourage new Friends and Followers to join.
SOURCE Darkness to Light