COLUMBIA, SC - The ninth annual Walk A Mile In Their Shoes (WAM), presented by Lexington Medical Center, raised $97,124 for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) and the services it provides to survivors of sexual assault in the Midlands.
On Thursday, April 12, more than 1,487 men and women gathered at the SC State House in downtown Columbia to get involved in the fight against sexual violence, raise awareness about the impact of sexual abuse in the community, and support survivors in their healing journey.
"Walk A Mile is our largest event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month," Mary Dell Hayes, STSM Executive Director, said. "There is no better time to honor and support survivors in our community and stand up against sexual violence. Walk A Mile is a movement in the Midlands."
The Largest Community Team Trophy was given to the South Carolina Department of Corrections for registering 725 of its employees. Carlos Suarez was recognized as this year's top fundraiser, raising $4,130 for STSM; and Joye White was recognized as this year's second top fundraiser, raising $3,187.
Lexington Medical Center returned as 2018's Presenting Sponsor. "Stiletto" sponsors are Companion Life Insurance and Richland County. "Wedge" sponsors are Palmetto Health BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. "Kitten Heel" sponsors include Doctors Care, Hospice Care of SC, Metropolis Salon and Dry Bar, Gregory Electric, Three Rivers Behavioral Health, Amick and Associates, the Columbia Chapter of the Links, and Moore Taylor Law Firm. "Sandal" sponsors include Green's Beverage Store, LTC Health Solutions, and Long's Drugs. "Platform" sponsors include Grace Outdoor, Go! Columbia, Free Times, PDQ Columbia, and the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
"An end to violence in our state is possible if we all work together," Hayes said. "We will continue to walk until there are healthy survivors, thriving in a community free of sexual violence."
April 11, 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Walk A Mile in Columbia. Registration for the tenth annual WAM will open in January 2019, but STSM encourages the community to continue to go the "extra mile" by supporting comprehensive services for survivors all year long. Volunteer at STSM as an office volunteer, a hotline and hospital advocate, or in speaker's bureau, donate to STSM's wish list or donate online to provide healing for survivors of sexual assault.
About Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands
Sexual Trauma Services is a 501(c)3 private, nonprofit, United Way community partner, headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. Formerly named Rape Crisis Network, Sexual Trauma Services serves Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Sumter, and Clarendon Counties. Sexual Trauma Services is committed to providing free support to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, and individual and group counseling. In addition, Sexual Trauma Services works to educate the community to identify and prevent sexual violence. For more information or to donate online: www.stsm.org.