The CEO of Darkness to Light wants to clear up the misconception that accused child molester Louis "Skip" ReVille was affiliated with the child abuse-prevention association, a conclusion that some have drawn following media reports on the arrest.
Earlier this week, The Post and Courier reported that ReVille had help set up a Darkness to Light abuse-prevention training session at Coastal Christian Preparatory School in the hours before he was arrested by Mt. Pleasant police, while two other local media outlets, News 4 and Live 5, noted that ReVille had attended the training session.
However, according to the Darkness to Light CEO Jolie Logan, the timing of former Coastal Christian assistant principal ReVille's arrest was "an ironic coincidence." Logan also notes that Reville had not been trained by the organization nor was he affiliated with the organization in any way.
"We did a training session on Friday morning for the staff and teachers of Coastal Christian and so he was in that session," Logan says, adding that Darkness to Light originally had scheduled only one session with Coastal Christian, but following the arrest, returned to the school to talk to the parents of students at the school.
Logan believes that the unfortunate impact of these reports is that they may actual hamper abuse-prevention efforts and prevent victims from coming forward. "This wasn't an issue of anyone else failing," Logan says. "If we anybody tries to say, 'Coastal Christian failed. Why did they hire this person? And this person failed and this person failed.' That's just modeling for the kids that they did something wrong and they didn't."
She adds, "My only concern is for the kids involved and the ones that haven't come forward."
Prior to the arrest, ReVille was a well-liked educator and coach. According to reports, many parents were comfortable leaving their children under his watch. In far too many cases of child abuse, this is the case. "More than 90 percent of the time it is someone the child knows and trust," Logan notes. And it's this trust that gives them the opportunity to act.
The Darkness to Light CEO notes that "perpetrators are drawn to places where there are children."
Logan says, "I have to assume that we have done sessions where there was a perpetrator in the session, but that's part of the reason that we teach the session the way that we do because it does a couple of things. It's educating whoever is in the class — the parents or in this case the staff of a youth-serving organization — so that they can know what to look for. But it's also putting the perpetrator on notice that 'OK, this place is going to be harder for me to do the things that I want to do.'"
She adds, "We are being incredibly naive to think he is the only one in our community."
Darkness to Light has held abuse-prevention training sessions at the majority of schools in Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston counties. They have also conducted training sessions at schools and churches across the nation.