Faith Leaders Take Initiative to Stop Violence in Our Community Through Partnership With Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

Columbia, SC – Experiencing sexual violence is a hidden wound for many survivors, but they may still struggle with how they see themselves, interact with others, and view the world around them - including their beliefs about spirituality and their faith community. Too often, survivors seeking counseling from Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands report that they were abused by someone they knew from their faith community, or that their faith leader didn't know what to do when they sought help in pastoral counseling.

It doesn't have to be that way. Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is fighting to end sexual violence in our community and make sure that every survivor receives support and care. This year, dozens of faith leaders from faith traditions and communities across the Midlands have come together in fellowship and worked to implement practical strategies to prevent abuse and walk with survivors on their healing journey.

A free training will be held at Brookland United Methodist Church in West Columbia, SC on Saturday, September 17 from 8 am to 1 pm and is open to clergy and lay leaders from all faith traditions. This opportunity to build safe sanctuaries is made possible by support from the Parrish Family Foundation and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. It will include two components, both presented by Sexual Trauma Services expert staff: a morning session focused on child abuse prevention and an afternoon session on healing hidden wounds.

For more information about this training opportunity, please check out our website or contact Sarah Nevarez, Adult Education Coordinator, at

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.