Child sex abuse prevention focus of training for Maryland
BALTIMORE – The state of Maryland has taken a significant step toward preventing child sexual abuse by attending evidenced-based training at its Crime Control & Prevention office.
The course, taught by former Mrs. Maryland International Elizabeth Peace, is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge of child sex abuse. For every adult trained in the program, 10 children are estimated to be saved. Peace, now the reigning Mrs. Atlantic States International, uses her title to bring more awareness to child sex abuse in the military after it affected her family seven years ago. Her platform, Operation Innocence, focuses on state and federal laws that leave children vulnerable to sexual predators.
“Incredulously, there are many adults who believe it is up to children to protect themselves from adult predators,” Peace said. “This training helps adults understand their role and their rights when it comes to protecting children in their care before it’s too late. I applaud the state of Maryland for the many steps it has taken to protect children. Taking this training is just another item in a long list of examples of how the state leads the way in our country in being proactive to give a brighter future to our most vulnerable population.”
The prevention training is available to all adults through Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children class. It focuses on the prevention steps adults and organizations can utilize immediately to prevent child sex abuse, and teaches adult how to handle allegations of child sex abuse to ensure the least amount of harm to victims. It is taught by trained facilitators, like Peace, who volunteer to offer the classes in their region.
“This important course conveys how to spot signs of abuse and how to protect children from sexual abuse,” said Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP). “Governor Hogan’s administration places priority on safeguarding the children of Maryland, which is why we believe every adult should know how to prevent these heinous crimes as fellow stewards of our youth.”
GOCCP serves as a coordinating office that advises the Governor on criminal justice strategies. The office plans, promotes and funds efforts with government entities, private organizations and the community to advance public policy, enhance public safety, reduce crime and juvenile delinquency, and serve victims.
To have Peace give a training in your community or workplace, you can contact her via email at MrsAtlanticStatesIntl@gmail.com. To find out more about Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program, visit www.D2L.org.
About Elizabeth Peace
Elizabeth Peace is a veteran and former journalist. After working on Capitol Hill as a communications director and speechwriter for Congress, she accepted the opportunity to work with the Department of the Army as a Public Affairs Specialist. She is the founder of Operation Innocence and travels the country to speak on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and child sex abuse. An avid volunteer, she has served on the board of directors for the Washington City Chamber of Commerce and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), served as a volunteer for domestic violence victims and volunteered to mentor at-risk youth. Former Mrs. Maryland International, she is the reigning Mrs. Atlantic States International 2019 and will compete for the title of Mrs. International 2019 in July to advocate for and bring awareness to child sex abuse in the military.
About Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a national nonprofit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse. We are guided by our vision to create a world where child sexual abuse does not exist. We believe that every child has the right to a happy, healthy, and safe childhood, and that protecting children is an adult responsibility. We also believe that education is critical for prevention efforts and that all successful initiatives start in the local community. Using an evidence-informed approach, Darkness to Light programs teach adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.