Darkness to Light training increases safety for community children

Published 6:42 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017


On Thursday, Oct. 19, staff members from the Troup County Solicitor’s Office, Harmony House and Lafayette Society for Performing Arts took part in Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children” training.

The training focused on identifying signs of childhood sexual abuse.

Michelle Beddingfield, Executive Director of Harmony House; Kerri Vice, Executive Director of Lafayette Society for Performing Arts; and Markette Baker, Troup County Solicitor-General, teamed up for the training.

“When we can take advantage of private-public partnerships our entire community benefits, and we are especially grateful for Twin Cedars and John Harrell who presented the training to the group of about forty people” Beddingfield said.

Baker was glad to see awareness elevated.

“We learned that one in ten children is a victim of sexual abuse and the ways they try to disclose the abuse might not always be straightforward,” Baker said. “Awareness is key and could save a child from further sexual abuse. We are all responsible for the welfare of the children in our community. I’m very proud of Harmony House, LSPA and the Troup County Solicitor’s Office who realize what we can accomplish by partnering together, learning and making our children safer.”

Kerri Vice agreed.

“We serve over 400 children weekly at LSPA through our dance, theatre and choral programs,” Vice said. “We want to make sure that, in addition to making the physical classroom environment safe, instructors and staff are looking out for the children in the other ways we learned about through the Darkness to Light training.”

The training is free and provided through Twin Cedars.  If you know of an office, government agency, or nonprofit that is interested in going through the program, contact John Harrell with Twin Cedars at (706) 298-0050.