Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands to Expand Therapeutic Services to Children Over Age 8

COLUMBIA, SC - Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) is proud to announce adaptations being made to provide therapeutic care to children over age 8.

"Last year, more than 75 families were not able to receive counseling at STSM because our clinicians were not certified in therapeutic models specific to children," said Mary Dell Hayes, STSM Executive Director. "In addition to training our licensed clinicians in therapeutic models for children who have experienced trauma, we will be adding play therapy rooms for children in all five of our counties - Richland, Lexington, Sumter, Newberry, and Clarendon. Each playroom will have child-sized chairs, a range of toys and games, and other developmentally appropriate toys that will be used to facilitate healing."

In summer of 2018, moms, dads, sons, and daughters will receive the same messages of healing and hope after trauma at Sexual Trauma Services. By increasing capacity and training at STSM, parents no longer have to decide if they have the time and resources to take their child to weekly therapy and to also get help for themselves.

"For most families, it's hard enough to take a child to a weekly appointment, but to find gas, time, and child care for your own weekly appointment is just too much of a burden," said Sherry Lewis, STSM Director of Therapy. "Our counselors pride themselves in providing the highest quality trauma-informed care and are excited to extend that same level of support to younger children and their families after being impacted by sexual violence."

STSM is asking the community to sponsor the intensive training and space adaptations. The service expansion is projected to cost upwards of $10,000. Visit STSM's website at to give healing to a whole family at STSM. A community free of sexual violence is possible if we stand together.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and would like help, call STSM's 24-hour confidential hotline at (803) 771-7273. You are not alone. 

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.