STSM's blog

Jessica Jones: I Am An Advocate

Sexual assault is an issue that personally affected me. Once I moved to Columbia, I started looking for an organization that would allow me to work directly with individuals and provide an immediate positive impact in their lives. When I found STSM, I saw that they allowed volunteers to work as advocates, and knew I wanted to volunteer to fight against rape culture while giving survivors the compassionate, unwavering advocate I wish had been there for me.

FAQ: Crisis Hotline

At Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, we spend a lot of time talking about sexual violence because it’s our job! For others, these conversations may not come so easily. Sexual violence is an uncomfortable and deeply personal topic, and talking about your experience can feel invasive. For many people, though, talking about their experience is exactly what is needed to move forward in the healing process. STSM offers a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline to provide an anonymous, confidential space for these conversations.

Volunteer Voice: Lita Bowman

Q. Tell me about yourself.

A. My name is Charlita Bowman and I've been an advocate with STSM since February 2017. When I am not volunteering with STSM, I work closely with youth in our community, and serve as a minister in my local church. I am also a busy mom of three, and a devoted wife.


Q. Why did you start volunteering with STSM?

The Red Zone: How To Be A Good Bystander

It’s that time of year again….when summer vacation is winding down and school supplies are taking center stage at local stores. Nervous excitement is building for students transitioning from one educational milestone to the next, but perhaps the biggest transition awaits the new graduates preparing to enter their first year of college.

Changing the Conversation about Teen Dating Violence

When you are five and a little boy pushes you on the playground or pulls your hair, people say, “Oh, that just means he likes you!”

When you are ten and a boy in your class trips you as you are walking in the hall, it’s not called bullying, people say, “Boys will be boys.”

When you are fifteen and your boyfriend insults you, and grabs your arm when you try to walk away, people say, “It’s not that serious, teenagers still do not fully understand love.”

When you are twenty and your partner shoots you when you try to leave him, people ask, “How could this happen?”

Growing Up Pains

Let’s face it….life can be stressful at any age. But in high school, every little thing can seem so monumental. It’s really easy to lose perspective and not be able to see your way out of some situations. Studying, socializing, extracurriculars, working, preparing for life post-graduation….all of these things can take their toll and leave you feeling drained, frazzled, and exhausted. Add in relationship pressure or drama, and life can feel really overwhelming.

Why Race Stereotypes Hurt Sexual Assault Survivors

My name is Tayler Simon. Here is a short, non-exhaustive list of who I am: I am the Education Intern for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. I am in my first year of the Master’s of Social Work program at the University of South Carolina.

I am an African American woman; being an African American woman places me in an interesting position in society. I experience both sexism and racism. In my activist work, I experience the constant struggle of feminism often neglecting racism, and anti-racism often neglecting sexism.

Working With Law Enforcement

Law enforcement plays a key role in our community. These officers work day and night to keep our community safe. Like local law enforcement officers, STSM works day and night to provide services to our survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones in our community. Both agencies play a key role in the healing and safety of the community.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today, January 11, we recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and while you might think trafficking isn’t something that affects you, or happens in your area, here are some facts to change your mind.

Holiday Tips For Survivors

As the holiday season is rapidly approaching and people prepare to spend time with loved ones, it is a time that survivors of sexual assault may dread. Why? Statistics show 3 out of 4 sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows.  This means a survivor’s perpetrator could be a family member, acquaintance, family friend, or intimate partner. How unsettling do you think it is for a survivor to be sitting at the dinner table with their perpetrator? 


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