“Four years ago, I retired after forty years as a teacher and School Counselor. The Beau Biden Foundation has given me the opportunity to give back to the community as a volunteer facilitator for Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training program. In essence, the program is designed to teach adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
The Foundation charges little to nothing for this training. It’s funded by generous people like us and often the training is facilitated by us, for people like us – teachers, social workers, school counselors, first responders, retirees – the list goes on.
Beau Biden believed it was an adult’s responsibility to protect children from abuse. He also believed that, when asked, a community would step up and ensure no child would ever live in fear of a predator. We – this community of volunteers, donors, and supporters – have stepped up. 7,000 more adults now know what to look for, who to report to, and how to help a child who has been abused.
Each child has an inherent quality to be courageous. However, developing the confidence to become courageous is our responsibility as adults within this community.
As a School Counselor, I found that often children who had been sexually abused held on to this secret for years at a time. Their disclosure was not always forthcoming. Quite often, they felt betrayed and afraid to say anything to anyone for fear of retribution.
The video presented in the Steward’s training, offers a diversified group of individuals, each telling their story, followed by a confident affirmation that gives the viewer the confidence and encouragement to seek help. These video testimonials encourage support and advocate for those who cannot stand on their own.
Overall the consensus from participants is that they simply did not know exactly how and when those red flags present themselves. But, the common denominator with all the groups has been two-fold: one, an appreciation for the information presented and secondly, often times personal disclosure of their own, (the latter of which are given resources that they may pursue within their own communities).
Thank you to the Beau Biden Foundation for providing me with the opportunity to be an active part of such a worthy cause.”
– Mary Ann Sley