Press Releases

Sexual Trauma Services Launches Violence Prevention Initiative

Columbia, S.C. - Violence permeates every aspect of our society and causes irreparable harm. The most effective way to break the cycle of violence is through early, ongoing primary prevention education. Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is launching expanded efforts to implement widespread violence prevention in our state. Select middle and high school educators from Richland 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, and Lexington-Richland 5 School Districts will participate in Youth Violence Prevention Facilitator Trainings© this week.

Training teachers to facilitate the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© in our local schools will create safe spaces where young people can receive help from adults trained to deal with some of the most difficult issues our community must address. This curriculum was developed by Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands over 17 years to address social norms that allow violence to flourish. Schools report that the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© helps to create a safer school environment because youth are prepared to identify and prevent violence. This new model of facilitation for the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© will increase the number of local youth receiving primary violence prevention education from more than 3,000 to more than 17,000.

The Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© expands beyond traditional risk reduction to focus on primary prevention. Facilitators are trained to use guided discussion to help students use their own experiences and ideas to form healthy relationships, set personal boundaries, recognize stereotypes and negative media influences, and hold each other accountable to host mutually respectful and empathetic communication. The Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© is endorsed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and has been independently evaluated by The University of South Carolina. The Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© incorporates the nine standards of primary prevention education as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An end to violence in our community is possible if we all work together to protect our most valuable resource – our youth. If you want your school to implement violence prevention education or if you are a teacher interested in receiving training, please contact Kayce Singletary at ced@stsm.org. Media personnel are invited to view a portion of the training on Thursday, June 25 from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m.  To RSVP and receive directions, please email dc@stsm.org.

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), formerly named Rape Crisis Network, is a private, nonprofit, United Way member agency committed to providing free, direct services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, individual and group counseling, and education about sexual trauma issues.

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