Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program Expanded to Rural Midlands

Columbia, SC. October 16, 2009 - Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), the leading nonprofit providing services to survivors of sexual assault and education about sexual trauma issues to residents of Richland, Lexington, and Newberry Counties, was awarded $31,064 from the Children’s Trust Fund Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grant. With this grant STSM will offer free child sexual abuse prevention trainings to 500 adults in Lexington and Newberry counties over the next year.

STSM first launched a child sexual abuse prevention initiative in July 2008 when the local organization partnered with Darkness to Light, a national non-profit based in Charleston. Since last year’s launch, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands has provided Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program to local non-profits and human service agencies for a fee.

The Stewards of Children program is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and motivates them to courageous action. This program was named the National Crime Prevention Council’s Crime Prevention Program of the Year in 2007 and is endorsed by the SC State Department of Education. Over the course of the CBCAP grant period, STSM will partner with churches, schools, businesses, and nonprofits to provide the Stewards of Children program free of charge.

“The South Carolina Department of Education strongly believes in protecting each and every child,” says Mark Bounds, Deputy Superintendant for Educator Quality and Leadership at the South Carolina Department of Education. “We support the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and their Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program proposal because it is a thorough and comprehensive program that, we believe, will significantly decrease the sexual abuse of South Carolina’s most vulnerable population.”

STSM is currently partnering with organizations and businesses to schedule free Stewards trainings in Newberry and Lexington counties the near future. Information about Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, their local services, and their child sexual abuse initiative can be found at www.stsm.org.

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), formerly named Rape Crisis Network, is a private, nonprofit, United Way member agency committed to providing free, direct services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, individual and group counseling, and education about sexual trauma issues.