4,300-mile Bike Trek to Reach Los Angeles Finish Line Sunday, Oct. 24

'Pedal for Prevention' Focuses Attention on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Oct 22, 2010, 10:00 ET from Darkness to Light

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Sore, sunburned but still inspired, a team of cyclists on a three-month bicycle trek across America will reach their finish line in Los Angeles Sunday, Oct. 24 to spread the message of preventing one of society's most devastating crimes, child sexual abuse.

The cross-country trip is raising awareness and donations to benefit Darkness to Light (D2L, www.d2l.org), a nonprofit with a mission to teach adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to sexual abuse of children. Riders Tyler Gilliam, Landon Phillips and Mike Allen began their journey from Charleston, SC on July 31.

Los Angeles area supporters will join the riders on the final leg of the trip from Malibu to Santa Monica on Sunday.

A finish line celebration is scheduled at the Santa Monica beachfront park (Ocean Avenue at Alta Drive, 551 Ocean Ave.) on Sun., Oct. 24 from 2 - 4 pm. The public is encouraged to attend.

Actress Challen Cates, star of Nickelodeon's hit comedy "Big Time Rush," and filmmaker / actor / author Angela Shelton will help lead supporters to welcome the riders at Sunday's park celebration and share their stories as abuse survivors.

"Our main goal is to raise awareness about the devastating impact of child sexual abuse on victims, families and society," said Gilliam. "It's a difficult subject to discuss."

Gilliam says that discussion begins with alarming facts. There are an estimated 40 million victims of child sexual abuse in the U.S. 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 for intervention and treatment surpass $3.4 billion annually.

The public is encouraged to support the team during its local visit by visiting www.pedalforprevention.com to make a donation.

About Darkness to Light and Child Sexual Abuse

D2L is a national non-profit, 501c3, and has created prevention education programs in 48 states and 10 foreign countries. D2L's "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. Online training is available and workshop schedules may be found at www.d2l.org.

Web:  www.d2l.org   www.pedalforprevention.com

Twitter www.twitter.com/darkness2light

Facebook:  www.causes.com/darkness2light

SOURCE Darkness to Light