STSM's blog

"Me Too" Rape Kits: Harmful, Negligent, and Irresponsible

Recently, a company advertising as the #MeToo Kits Company is making efforts to market a “Sexual Assault Evidence Kit For At-Home Use.” The kit boasts giving survivors alternatives to emergency room attention and standard evidence collection with a do-it-yourself approach. This product causes harm. It is reckless to promote this to survivors of trauma.

Become an Empowered Adult This Summer

My first hospital call as a sexual assault victim service provider was for a child, a young child. It was impossible, in my mind, to imagine the things they had gone through. The questions the forensic nurse asked the child were hard to listen to. The answers the child gave were even harder. 

Why do you walk? #SCWAM

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) tries to center our work around trauma-informed practice. For us, that means feeling safe is just as important as being safe.

A Child's Curiosity

Children are natural explorers; we want them to be! We encourage their questions and even fuel their curiosity because we enjoy seeing their minds at work. They want to learn, especially from their caregivers, which is why they come to ask questions. A child’s curiosity is natural, normal, and healthy...even when it’s about sexuality.  

Why Background Checks Don’t Protect People From Sexual Abuse

Criminal records checks are the first step many organizations take in executing a sexual abuse prevention policy. Parents talk about running background checks on child care providers. Employers run background checks on future and current employees. Community members search sex offender registries to see if any perpetrators live in their neighborhoods.

Things All Parents Should Be Worried About

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way - You should not spend much time worried about your child being falsely accused of sexual assaulting someone. The FBI found a less than five percent chance that any reported sexual assault is found to be false. Remember, that data only relies on the cases that are actually reported to law enforcement.

A Call To Action In The Midlands

I can’t identify the first time I felt scared simply because I was a woman. As young girls, we are taught and observe that we are constantly at risk. We hear the whispers about avoiding being alone with this teacher or that coach. We know not to go down that hallway at the church. Later, we hear which parties, bars, floors of the library, or dorm bathrooms to avoid. Now, that same whisper network tells me which elected officials, media reporters, and business people to avoid meeting with alone.

Do you ever feel hopeless?

Do you ever feel hopeless? Do you ever feel like every thing is terrible, with no light at the end of the tunnel? Do you ever become so overwhelmed with emotions that you just want to give up? 

Many survivors of sexual assault describe having these feelings, at least some of the time. For many people, these feelings can be a reaction to trauma or an especially stressful time in life. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings can take the form of suicidal thoughts. Other times they may steal your motivation to continue working, going to school, or taking care of yourself. 

Giving Yourself Time to Feel

Feelings. We all experience them, even when we don’t want to deal with them. Wouldn’t it be great if the only thing we could feel was happiness all the time? Or at the very least, we could wave a magic wand and make all those feelings we don’t like go away? No sadness, no anger, no guilt, no worry, no disgust. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Believe it or not, it’s actually good when we face our emotions. They are what remind us we are human beings experiencing all that life has to offer.

Volunteer Voice: Katie Heins

It’s 1 a.m.

I’m working on homework in the library.

Or maybe I’m eating dinner, and suddenly my phone rings.

Even after months of volunteering with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, I still jump almost comically at the noise. Although I don’t know always know what is on other end of the phone, I know that I am about to have the opportunity to help a survivor of sexual assault; I am ready.

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