• 70°

Darkness to Light receives plaque recognizing progress

Darkness to Light has trained 5 percent of the county on how to spot the signs of abuse, but now the goal is to increase that  number to 10 percent.

The group received a plaque for its work last week recognizing Troup County as one of the few counties in the state to have 5 percent or more of its population trained in the program’s protocol.

The leaders of the program attribute that success to community support from groups like the Family Connection Authority and The Callaway Foundation.

The goal of the training with Darkness to Light is to increase the number of adults who can recognize children who are victims of abuse and properly react in those situations.

“Though Twin Cedars and our community successfully trained over 2,500 adults in Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children curriculum, we have chosen to continue this initiative to better enable individuals to recognize and responsibly react to signs of child sexual abuse thereby opening the door to successful prosecution of offenders and healing therapy to child victims and their non-offending caregivers,” Assistant Program Coordinator John Harrell said in a press release.

While no one likes to think of someone they know being the perpetrator or the victim of child abuse, statistics show that approximately one in five children are abused.

Again, the statistics regarding child sexual abuse still stun me, Harrell said. “I count the number of adults I know and divide by five to see how many were probably sexually abused as a child. I reflect on the number of adults I see or interact with in some capacity throughout the year and do the same, divide by five, to get an idea of how many former victims of child sexual abuse I’ve spoken with, attended meetings with or eaten lunch with throughout the year.”

The number can be staggering, but the sheer number of children facing this problem has only increased the group’s commitment to training the community on how to recognize and respond to it.

The primary cost for the training is the workbook that each participant receives.

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to step forward to help cover the costs of the workbook for anyone who might be deterred by the cost of the training.

For more information about Darkness to Light, e-mail jharrell@twincedars.org.