Nonprofit talks summertime dangers kids can face

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Even with school out, kids are likely to be just as busy with activities, camps, and trips. A local organization wants to make sure parents ask all the right questions before sending their kids off on fun summer adventures.

The nonprofit Darkness to Light aims to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse in their communities. Statistics show that 1 in 10 kids in the U.S. will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

The group says parents should talk to their kids about sexual abuse before sending them off in someone else's care.

"Keeping our children safe is an adult responsibility," said Darkness to Light trained facilitator Laura Fogarty. "The power lies with our kids to talk about it, to say no, but ultimately it is an adult responsibility not something we can put on our children."

Darkness to Light encourages parents to have open dialogue with their kids about the subject, know who their kids are with, and see if the businesses or camps their kids are spending time at this summer have Darkness to Light or sexual abuse prevention training.

"Children who have the language and the permission to talk about abuse are the safest children so those are the two tools you can give your kids to keep them safe," Fogarty said.

Skyzone in Mount Pleasant is holding a Darkness to Light Stewards of Children workshop this weekend.

"We talk about minimizing opportunity the majority of abuse happens on one-on-one locations or situations," said Fogarty. "It's important to talk about it. The more we talk about it the more light we shed on it and it takes the taboo out of it and the easier it is to prevent it."

Facilitators will be coming on-site to conduct a two-hour training session to teach employees how to prevent sexual abuse and look out for it at their business.

"They will be better trained to recognize; they will be better trained to respond if a child discloses; and they will be better equipped to set precedents for children about being safe in the presence of adults," Fogarty said. "The biggest thing they will do is learn how to take care of the kids in their care by setting the proper protocol in place about what's appropriate behavior and what's not appropriators behavior between an adult and a child."

Darkness to Light is encouraging all child-serving businesses to get involved and join the movement this summer with training sessions.

For more information on Darkness to Light and training click here or email LaurFogartyty at