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Get Help or Make a Referral

Q: I would like to refer a survivor for counseling. Can I refer them to STSM for services?
A:

STSM accepts referrals from other counseling professionals and from family members or friends. Survivors must set up their own appointments if they are over the age of 17. For a list of other organizations STSM has partnerships with, click here to access our Community Partners page.  

To speak with a counselor about making a referral or appointment, contact STSM during normal business hours at (803) 790-8208 or on our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.

Q: What can I expect from my first appointment at STSM?
A:

Your first time at STSM is focused solely on you and helping you asess your needs. You will meet with a crisis intervention specialist who will help you determine what further actions you may need to take. Your crisis intervention specialist can help best determine what your next steps will be. Next steps include, helping you tell family about what happened, aiding your recovery through counseling sessions, or speaking with law enforcement.  

For more information, click here to view more information on STSM's crisis intervention services.  

Crisis intervention specialists are available 24 hours a day by calling our hotline at (803) 771- 7273.  

Q: What will happen at my first counseling session?
A:

During the first counseling session, the counselor will ask a series of questions to help gauge your needs. You will not be asked in detail about your assault. A counseling session lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. At the initial appointment the counselor will discuss your goals in seeking help and set up your next appointment. Your counselor may provide you with referrals to get additional help.

To speak with a counselor about  setting up an appointment, contact STSM during normal business hours at (803) 790-8208 or on our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.

Q: Can I get counseling if I was assaulted as a child?
A:

Yes. Many clients at STSM are adults receiving services for childhood sexual trauma. The long term impact of childhood sexual assault is staggering. If you feel like you are ready to begin the healing process, we have counselors ready to support you during your recovery. For more information on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault, click here to view STSM’s Adult Survivors page.

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

Q: Can I get counseling if I am a man?
A:

Yes. STSM provides counseling services to men. Men and women alike are survivors of sexual assault with 1 in 33 men in the United States having experienced a rape or attempted rape. There are both individual and group services available through STSM for male survivors.

To view a blog post on Male Sexual Assault, click here.

For more information on Male Sexual Assault, click here.

Q: My friend told me she thinks she was raped, what should I do?
A:

The most important thing you can do is to believe your friend. It’s not your job to solve the case or to get your friend to do what you think is the correct thing to do. Support the choices your friend makes even if they are not the choices you would make. You can call the STSM hotline and speak to an advocate to find out different ways you can support your friend.

Contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.

Q: Do you have male staff at STSM?
A:

Yes, STSM has both male and female staff and volunteers. For more information on our staff at STSM, click here to view the Staff Directory

Q: Can I receive services even if the rape isn’t reported to the police?
A:

Yes. STSM does not require people to report their assault if they are over the age of 18. The staff and counselors are here to serve you and give you the information you need to make a decision as to whether reporting to law enforcement is the correct move for you. However, STSM counselors are mandated reporters meaning if the assault involves a child (under 18 years of age) or vulnerable adult we will have to report it to the appropriate authorities.

Another option is Anonymous Reporting. In South Carolina, Anonymous Reporting is the collection of forensic evidence but no official report is made to law enforcement. The forensic evidence is kept for at least one year in case the survivor decides to make an official report with accompanying evidence.  However, there is no statue of limitation of sexual assault, meaning you can decide to make an official report to law enforcement at any time. For more information on Anonymous Reporting in South Carolina, click here.  

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

Q: Are the counselors licensed?
A:

All STSM counselors are licensed by the state of South Carolina to provide counseling. Advocates and crisis interventionists have received specialized training in responding to survivors of sexual violence and are licensed by the state of South Carolina as Victim Service Providers.

Q: Are counselors allowed to report to law enforcement without my permission?
A:

Only if the assault is a mandated report – meaning a child or vulnerable adult has been or may be assaulted. Mandated reporting will only happen if there is reason to suspectabuse, it is law enforcement’s job to determine if the suspicion is correct. Other community mandated reporters include teachers, doctors, clergy, film developers, and all law enforcement.

Q: I’m in the military, can I use STSM’s services?
A:

Yes. Any member of the armed forces and their families are welcome at STSM. Military members can choose whether or not to report the assault on base and are not required to report to military police to receive STSM services.

If you are a member of the armed forces and are a survivor of sexual assault, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.

Q: I’m in the military, does my commander have to know about my assault?
A:

No. The military does not necessarily have to know about your assault. As with any assault, it is up to you if you wish to report to military police. Staff and counselors STSM will provide you with the information you will need to make this decision.

If you are a member of the armed forces and are a survivor of sexual assault, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.

Q: I attend a local college. Can I use STSM’s services?
A:

Yes. While services are available on many college campuses for sexual assault survivors, you can choose to use STSM’s services. STSM works closely with the local colleges to guarantee that you are given the right services for you.

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

Q: How long can I receive services?
A:

STSM provides free counseling for up to 6 months after the initial session. After services with STSM are complete, your counselor will help you to decide if you need further assistance and provide you with a referral if necessary.

Legal advocacy at STSM never expires. If you require legal assistance in the future regarding your assault, STSM will be there to offer emotional supporrt and legal advocacy support. For more information on Legal Advocacy at STSM, click here.  

If you or someone you know would like to begin counseling at STSM, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.