Volume 5, Issue 4

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Volume 5, Issue 4
Genevieve N. Waller, Esq. Executive Director Tammy Szymanski Office Manager Sherry Lewis, MA, LPC ,CAC II Director of Therapy and Outreach Melanie Snipes, LMSW Director of Crisis Services Kayce Singletary, MPH, MSW Community Education Director Mary Dell Hayes Development Coordinator Sarah Nevarez Volunteer Services Coordinator Zoe McDowell Sexual Assault Services Coordinator Lauren Wiest, LPC-I Advocate Counselor Bahiyihh Young, Ed.S. Underserved Survivor Advocate & Outreach Coordinator Amy Meldau, LMSW Group Services Coordinator Alexis Stratton, MFA Prevention Education Coordinator Baron O’Neal Community Advocate and Prevention Specialist
The Healing Voice
Group Services Newsletter
Message from the Group Services Coordinator
This Spring season, we are grateful for a team of 18 new and veteran group facilitators. We were excited to have eleven new facilitators complete our training in February. It’s humbling to know so many clinicians in our community who are willing to volunteer their time to the cause of helping survivors heal from sexual trauma. We currently have seven groups running and are about to start four more! We are actively rostering for our upcoming Men and Women TREM groups. Please send any referrals my way. It is now officially Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so be sure to check out some of the fun events STSM has planned on page 4.
STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.
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anel Mitnaul has volunteered with STSM for over 16 years! She began when she was fresh out of USC’s MSW program and we are lucky to have her continue to serve with us as a group facilitator ever since. She has served in almost every different group we’ve done including Sistercare, Women’s, Teen, and Men’s TREM, and the Parent/Caregiver Support Group! Many survivors have benefitted from Janel’s clinical and group expertise in these settings. Education: She attended Winthrop University where she attained bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She then went on to get her Masters in Social Work at the University of South Carolina. Occupation: Janel is the Program Manager at the Center for Child and Family Studies which is part of the Social Work Program at USC. This means that she is a quality assurance review coordinator who works to determine how children and families all over South Carolina are assessed and provided services to ensure safety, permanency, and well-being. This is done by reviewing SCDSS foster care and family preservation cases in each county of the state.
Janel Mitnaul, LMSW
Why she volunteers: When Janel first started volunteer, STSM had just started its new group services program. Janel has been instrumental in providing and developing our groups. She relates, “My desire to continue serving women and working with survivor's has kept me volunteering all these years. STSM has continued to grow and evolve their therapeutic focus and that has been exciting to be a part of. I enjoy doing groups and working with new group facilitators.” How does she prevent burnout? Janel has to work hard to carve out personal time, especially as her job often has her traveling throughout the state of South Carolina. When she finds time to herself, she loves watching sports, spending time with family, and also take time for self care through pampering and therapeutic treatment with her chiropractor.
STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse
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and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.
Bahiyihh Young
Underserved Survivor Advocate & Outreach Coordinator (USA)
ahiyyih Young, Ed.S., NCC joined STSM as our Underserved Survivor Advocate & Outreach Project Coordinator in February 2014. In this position, she will focus on ensuring that diverse and underserved populations are aware of and provided with access to STSM Services. Bahiyyih holds a psychology undergraduate and an educational specialist’s graduate degree in Marriage, Couples, & Family Counseling, both from USC. She has experience serving youth in foster care, at-risk youth & families, higher education, and individuals with disabilities. She is passionate about brain research, multiculturalism, writing, singing, knitting, and being an auntie.
Baron O’Neal
Community Advocate & Prevention Specialist
aron O’Neal joined STSM staff as our Community Advocate & Prevention Specialist in Sumter County in February 2014. Baron volunteered with STSM as an advocate beginning in February of 2012, in this role he provided over 65 hours of direct service to survivors of sexual assault. He became a Speaker’s Bureau volunteer in August 2012, and was named STSM’s Volunteer of the Year in 2013. Baron is a former paramedic with Richland County EMS and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Columbia International University. In his free time, he takes care of his pet dogs and donkeys, fishes, and spends the majority of his time as the father to his “loving, caring, beautiful, and tenacious” 7-year-old daughter.
Learn more about our staff and our board members on our website:
STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse
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and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: This annual event gets men (and women!) involved in the fight against sexual violence and raises awareness about the free, local services STSM provides for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Men from across the Midlands will be standing up against sexual abuse and violence, one pair of heels at a time, on Thursday, April 17, 2014, 5:308:00 p.m. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. outside the South Carolina State House. More than 600 supporters participated last year! We have our special Group Facilitator Team called STSM Groupies, so register to walk with our team online on STSM’s website and get your friends and family to join us or sponsor us! Women’s Self-Defense Class: Richland County Sheriff's Department and Eastminster Presbyterian Church have partnered with STSM to offer a free, women's self-defense course on Saturday, April 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will facilitate the course, which utilizes techniques that are specifically designed for women to reduce the likelihood of victimization. This program empowers women to recognize their strengths and make sound decisions when faced with potentially dangerous situations. For more information, contact Alexis Stratton at 803-790-8208 or Register on the website. Space is limited. Denim Day: In Italy in 1992, an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. The assailant was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail. He appealed the sentence, and the case made its way to the Italian Supreme Court. The Supreme Court released the perpetrator and dismissed all charges. The reasoning behind this was “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” The women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans in protest, and the California Senate and Assembly did the same. Thus, Denim Day was born. Wear jeans on Wednesday, April 23, to raise awareness and educate the public about rape and sexual assault. Please contact Ashley Meador at for more information or to request Denim Day stickers! Start By Believing Campaign: Join us in our posting videos that we have filmed throughout the midlands from listeners and believers and we would love for all of you to submit your own too! Make a personal commitment to Start By Believing! Creating a video is quick and easy! The script says : “Hi my name is ______ I am a ______ (profession) and when someone comes to me and tells me they have been sexually assaulted or abused, I start by listening/ believing!” The videos take about 23 seconds to make, and we will take care of all the details! If you and/or your agency would like to make a video, please contact Zoe McDowell at to arrange for her to come out and film you!
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STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.
Clinical Group Progress Notes
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Client’s arrival condition Group topic discussed Client behavior, response to topic Plan for next group participation, and
Each of you will have the chance to facilitate a support group. Here are some tips on how to compose the perfect note!
Facilitator’s intervention or role
“Client actively participated in group this evening. She was talkative with a bright affect. The topic was Self-Esteem. Client engaged in discussion and identified she has struggled with her self-esteem since her assault. Facilitator led the discussion on self-care and facilitated an activity drawing affirmation notecards. Next week’s group will address the topic of Boundaries.”
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Personal judgment Diagnosing a client Information that does not pertain to client
If you have concerns about a client’s behavior in group, or what is or isn’t appropriate in a note, feel free to staff it!

“I believe client has borderline personality disorder due to client’s lack of boundaries and impulsive behaviors. Client also reports have a shopping addiction. This should be recognized in counseling. Client discussed that she does not get much familial support, I encouraged client that she needed to tell her significant other to be able to heal. I believe that client was upset with me for sharing my opinion with her.”
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STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.
Upcoming Group Services Events
April 14: Clinical Group Supervision at STSM conference Room at 6-7:30pm April 17: Walk A Mile– Go Team STSM Groupies! April 23: Wear Jeans for Denim Day! April 25: SCCADVASA Free Webinar- Adult Manifestations of Childhood Sexual Assault Find out more info at April 28-29: Educate, Engage, Empower! SCCADVASA and Cumbee Center’s free, 2-day sexual assault conference. April 29: Continuing Education Event at STSM office on, “Normal Childhood Sexual Development” by Brooke Wymer, LMSW, the Director of Clinical Services at the Dickerson Center for Children at 6pm. April 30: All VOCA Volunteer Log Forms and Monthly Report forms are due to Amy. Ongoing: Group notes and paperwork are due two days after your group!
Current Groups

Morris Village Psycho-ed Group Sistercare Shelter Psycho-ed Group Women’s TREM Teen Girls TREM Parent/Caregiver Support Group Art Therapy Group Women’s Support Group— TREM Male Support Group — TREM Yoga Another Women’s TREM Killingsworth Psycho-ed Group

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Upcoming Groups

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3830 Forest Drive Suite 201 Columbia, SC 29204 (803) 790-8208
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STSM supports survivors in recovery from the trauma associated with sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.

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