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. 

While the forensic nurse spoke to the parents, I pulled the child around in the little red wagon at the local children’s hospital. That red wagon is supposed to be for walks around the neighborhood or bringing lemonade stand supplies to the street corner, not for a child who has been sexually assaulted. 

As we took laps around the hospital, I thought about what the child had been through and what we could do to protect our children in this crazy world. As their sweet little arms hugged my neck when we parted ways, I promised myself I would never stop being an advocate. 

The more I see, the more I realize that we need to give parents, caregivers, teachers, and leaders the tools they need to protect the children in their care. Children need to feel like they are safe and protected. It is an important job, almost superhero level. 

Kids do not always have the words to stick up for themselves, and it is our job to be their voice. 

Thanks to Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, you have the opportunity to learn how to protect the children in your care by recognizing signs of sexual assault and learning how to respond and react responsibly. 

To do that, we are offering the Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children® training this summer. If you have children in your care or if you oversee volunteers or staff who work with children, this training is for you. Interested in this training opportunity? Contact STSM’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Sarah Goode, at or (803) 790-8208.

I don’t know about you, but this mom of four is going to be there. Hope you will be too!

Kristin Dickson

Kristin joined STSM as the Inclusive Access Project Coordinator in November 2017. Kristin insures that direct services and prevention education programming are accessible and understandable to people in our community who have a disability.