Newberry And Saluda County Educators Partner with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands to Prevent Early Childhood Sexual Abuse

COLUMBIA, SC - Newberry and Saluda County School Districts took steps to protect elementary aged children from sexual abuse by working with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) to train 14 guidance counselors and school personnel in early childhood sexual abuse prevention.

On January 8, STSM facilitated Prevent Child Abuse Vermont's Healthy Relationship Project: Care for Kids© and We Care Elementary© to elementary educators at the Newberry County School District Office. STSM facilitates early childhood prevention using the curricula due to its recognition as being effective in promoting the development of healthy relationships and early identification of child abuse. STSM certifies educators and community members to implement the curricula in their own schools and communities.

“Healthy relationships have to be modeled at home, school, and in our community. This modeling starts with developmentally appropriate education at age three and continues through adulthood.  The earlier we can break the ongoing cycle and perpetration of violence, the more likely our children are to be able to succeed both academically and personally,” said Kayce Singletary, STSM Community Education Director. “Instead of focusing on risk reduction or getting help after an assault occurs, primary prevention programs identify risk factors and behaviors that can lead to violence and work to modify them before violence occurs. This is a key factor in creating healthy school climates where students are able to achieve maximum personal growth and success.”

Care for Kids© and We Care Elementary© are health education and violence prevention curricula that meet National Health and Safety Education Standards, and are in accordance with the South Carolina Department of Education as an awareness and prevention service provider. Both curricula meet Erin’s Law requirements, as well as those outlined in the SC Comprehensive Health Education Act. Every lesson is interactive, and tailored to meet the developmental needs of students.

Care for Kids© is implemented with children 3-8 years old, and focuses on helping children with the following topics: feelings, bodies, babies, asking for permission, and asking for help.

We Care Elementary© works with children in grades third to fifth. Each grade level includes six lessons that focus on various topics related to healthy relationships. Topics are feelings, communication, recognizing boundaries, asking for permission, and bystanders.

Visit STSM’s website for more information about Care for Kids©, We Care Elementary©, or other child sexual abuse prevention, at www.stsm.org/stsm-prevention-education-training. If you are interested in having STSM train your educators on child sexual abuse prevention, you can contact STSM’s Community Education Director at ced@www.stsm.org or (803) 790-8208.

Media inquiries should be directed to Layla Ferjani, STSM’s marketing coordinator, at 803-790- 8208 or marketing@www.stsm.org.

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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.