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About STSM

Q: What is STSM?
A:

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, incorporated in 1983. One of 14 rape crisis centers in South Carolina, STSM provides free and confidential crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy and support services to female and male child, adolescent and adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse and prevention education and awareness about sexual trauma in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, and Sumter counties. 

For more information about STSM, click here to view STSM’s Mission & Vision page

Q: Where is STSM located?
A:

Our headquarters is located at: 3830 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29204. We also have an office in Sumter located at 533C Oxford Street, Sumter, SC 29150.

Q: Who can receive services at STSM?
A:

STSM’s services are available to all survivors of sexual trauma in the Midlands. This includes primary survivors—people who themselves experienced sexual assault, abuse, or harassment—as well as secondary survivors—family and friends whose lives have been effected by the sexual trauma experienced by a loved one.

STSM serves all non-offending survivors without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Our staff members and volunteers are trained to provide support to and information regardless of when the assault or abuse occurred. Whether you are male or female, child or adult, heterosexual or homosexual, rich or poor, single or married, whatever your race or religion, we are here for you. For more information on services at STSM, click here to view our Clinical Services page. 

Q: How can I schedule an education session?
A:

Call our office at (803) 790-8208 or email ced@www.stsm.org to schedule a presentation. We offer a variety of presentations appropriate for youth and/or adult audiences. For more information about presentations, click here.

Q: Is there a cost/fee for services?
A:

All counseling, advocacy, and accompaniment services are free of charge for survivors. To assist STSM in continuing to be able to offer these free services to survivors throughout the Midlands, you can make a donation by clicking here

Q: I am a survivor of sexual assault. What can I expect from STSM?
A:

First of all, we are so sorry for what you have experienced. STSM recognizes that every survivor is unique. You have a number of choices of how to proceed from this point. If you choose to call our hotline, you can expect a trained, compassionate person to answer your call. This person will do everything that she or he can to answer your questions and provide you with support.

If you choose to go to the hospital, a nurse will contact STSM, and an advocate will be called to the hospital to support you through your hospital visit, offer you information about our services, and try to answer any questions you may have. You will have the option of providing STSM with your contact information so that a trained, compassionate professional can follow up with you and provide you with access to the resources you may choose to utilize as you begin your healing journey.

If you choose to contact STSM directly to access our counseling, legal advocacy, or other services, you can expect a trained, compassionate person to answer your call and do everything she or he can to answer your questions. 

For more information on services at STSM, click here to view our Clinical Services page

Q: How can I schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor?
A:

When you call the crisis hotline (803-771-7273), you will speak with one of our advocates. The advocate will help you to identify your main concerns and help you to create a plan to address them. Often this involves having one of our counselors follow up with you to schedule a session so that we can address your needs in a more personal setting.For more information on contacting STSM, click here to view STSM’s Contact page

For immediate assistance, contact STSM’s 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273 or (800) 491-7273. 

Q: If I call the hotline (803-771-7273), who will I talk to?
A:

When you call the crisis hotline (803-771-7273) you will speak with one of our advocates. The advocate will help you to identify your main concerns and help you to create a plan to address them. Often this involves having one of our counselors follow up with you to schedule a session so that we can address your needs in a more personal setting.

For more information on contacting STSM, click here to view STSM’s Contact page

For immediate assistance, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273. 

Q: Does STSM address all types of violence?
A:

STSM serves survivors of all types of sexual violence. Most survivors of sexual violence have been assaulted by someone they know and trust. Sometimes survivors have also survived other crimes like domestic violence or robbery. We work to specifically address issues related to sexual violence and provide referral information for other agencies in the area to meet needs not related to sexual violence.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of a sexual assault, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273. 

Q: What is crisis intervention?
A:

Survivors may choose to meet with crisis counselors who will assess their needs, answer questions about the criminal justice and legal system, and teach strategies for survivors to use as they begin to heal from the effects of sexual trauma. For more information on crisis counseling, click here to find out more about crisis counseling at STSM

If you are in crisis, call STSM at (803) 771-7273 to connect with our 24/7 crisis hotline.  

Q: What are STSM’s policies on privacy and confidentiality?
A:

STSM is committed to maintaining your confidentiality. We will not share your information with your family, friends, or anyone else. There are a few exceptions to this policy.

Information may be subpoenaed by a court. We will always let you know if the court system requests information about your case, will work with a lawyer to respond appropriately, and will not release information without your permission.

If a survivor is under the age of 18 or is considered a vulnerable adult, then STSM is required to follow mandated reporting laws. This means that STSM is required to make a report to the appropriate agency, either the Department of Social Services or the law enforcement agency in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Clients of all ages should also be aware that counselors are required by law to report disclosures of suicidal ideation or homicidal intent to law enforcement officials.