Greenwood Municipal Federal Credit Union Donates to Beyond Abuse

Our wonderful friends at the Greenwood Municipal Federal Credit Union made another generous gift to the agency.

Each year GMFCU does a “skip-a-payment” program through the months of November, December, and January. This program gives their members the opportunity to skip one of their monthly loan payments. The funds collected through these months are split into different categories for donations to charities selected by the Board of Directors.

Pictured below are Samantha Byrd with GMFCU, Cathy Miller and Alison Romagnoli with Beyond Abuse and Vickie Hastings with GMFCU.

Pinwheels for Prevention

If you heard lots of cowbells yesterday, no need to be alarmed – it was our new Pinwheels for Prevention awareness event!

Thank you to our Board of Directors and staff for volunteering along with members of Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. This successful event will become an annual function as we continue to raise support for combating sexual violence in our community!

Clinton Police Department and Presbyterian College Campus Police Receive Sexual Assault Training

On Tuesday, 5/28 and Thursday, 5/30 Laurens County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) conducted a Sexual Assault Response training for the Clinton Police Department Uniform Patrol Officers, Investigators, and Student Resource Officers, and the Presbyterian College Campus Police.  During this training Laurens County SART members from Clinton Police Department, 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, SC Attorney General’s Office, PRISMA Health-Upstate, and Beyond Abuse presented information to attendees on responding to and providing best practice services to sexual assault victims in the front line. 

The training was accredited through the SC Attorney General’s Office & the SC Criminal Justice Academy so that attendees could receive continuing education credits. This training is a pilot training that our Laurens County SART hopes to grow and provide across the state to other Law Enforcement agencies and SART Teams.

 If you are interested in joining our SART please contact Elizabeth Wise, SART Coordinator, at 864-227-1623 or for more details and to apply.

Client Services Volunteers Needed

(an immediate need)

Are you looking for something to fill your time this summer and help your community? We have the perfect opportunity for you! We are looking for energetic individuals who love to talk and help others by providing client services support over the phone and in-person during lunch hours at our office here in Greenwood. If you or someone you know is interested in helping us out this summer and fall please contact our Victim Services Manager at 864-227-1623 or for more information.

Self Regional Community Health Committee Awards Funds

We’re thankful for Self Regional Healthcare’s continued support of our agency!

Leath Correctional Donates Crocheted Blankets and Stuffed Animals

On May 21st Leath Correctional Institution donated dozens of blankets and stuffed animals that were hand crocheted by Leath Inmates.  The blankets and stuffed animals will be used to provide comfort for victims Beyond Abuse serves in the ER as well as for comfort to clients receiving medical and therapy services.

Pictured L to R: Associate Warden- Jacquelyn Lewis, Warden- Patricia Jones-Yeldell, Beyond Abuse Victim Services Manager-Elizabeth Wise, and Associate Warden- Loretta Moore

5th Annual Volunteer Luncheon

On Saturday, April 27th Elizabeth Wise, Victim Services Manager, hosted Beyond Abuse’s 5th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at Gather Bistro and Bakery in the Alcoves.  The luncheon is a chance for agency staff and board members to recognize agency volunteers for their passion, dedication, and support to survivors of sexual assault.

At this year’s luncheon several volunteers were recognized for milestones of service (5, 10 and 15 years and volunteer of the year) and all were given gifts of appreciation.

Those who received milestone recognition at this year’s luncheon were:

Jeannie Capps – 15 years of service and Volunteer of the Year

Leslie Myers – 10 years of service

Letha Davis – 10 years of service

Annette Peksa – 5 years of service

Christine Watson – 5 years of service

L to R (back row): Lisa Tolbert, Board President, Carrie Garner, Kathryn Bulus, and Tanesha Lee
L to R (front row): Varonica Crawford, Leslie Myers, Amber Glasl, Elizabeth Wise, Victim Services Manager, Annette Peksa, and Jessica Bell, Client Services Director

Meet the Senior Staff!

Left to right: Jessica Bell, Cathy Miller, Alison Romagnoli

Cathy Miller, Executive Director, is responsible for overall management of the on-going operations of the agency including client service delivery, development, marketing, & financial stability.  She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics and holds a Masters in Business Administration also from USC.  Prior to joining the agency, she spent 30 years in the Manufacturing sector with a focus on Corporate Finance and Accounting.  She has served on various boards in the community such as The Greenwood Family YMCA, The Greenwood Genetic Center, and Healthy Learners and is currently a member of Kiwanis. She is an active member of both The United Way and Chamber’s non- profit councils.

Jessica Bell, a native of Greenwood, SC, is the Client Services Director at Beyond Abuse. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lander University and a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.   Jessica began her career at Beyond Abuse in 2004 as an intern and was later hired as a Family Advocate. She has held progressively more responsible positions including Project BEST Site Coordinator, Forensic Interviewer and Sexual Assault Program Director before being promoted to her current role.  As Client Services Director, Jessica is responsible for the direction and oversight of all client services including Clinical Services, Child Services, and Victims Services. She is a licensed master level social worker and is rostered in the state of South Carolina with Project BEST to provide Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family.

Alison Romagnoli, Director of Administration, joined Beyond Abuse in March 2017.  In this position, Alison ensures employee benefits and agency finances are accurate as well as maintains a professional and efficient office environment.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from Lander University.  Alison is a member of Kiwanis and is a recent graduate of Leadership Greenwood.  In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Multi-Disciplinary Team Training and Orientation Conducted

On Wednesday, April 24th, individuals from Greenwood’s Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) gathered for a training which aimed to increase participant’s knowledge about child abuse investigations and how agencies can better collaborate.

Participants learned about different roles of MDT members, the Forensic Interviewing process, Child Maltreatment exams, Therapy services offered by Beyond Abuse, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and importance of cultural competency in order aid in providing victim support services and/or conduct an investigation for child abuse.

Thanks to all who participated and made this training possible:

8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, South Carolina Department of Social Services (Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens, and Newberry), Clinton City Police Department, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, City of Abbeville Police Department, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, and Newberry Police Department

Silent Tears announces $5 million donation to fund capital needs of organizations that help women & children statewide

Columbia, S.C. (April 25, 2019)

Silent Tears announced on Thursday plans to donate $5 million to fund capital needs of organizations statewide that assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

Six years ago, Silent Tears formed to systematically address the complex issues associated with child sexual abuse – considering best practices, the fragmented support system for victims, the culture and politics of South Carolina, and a lack of attention on the issue. In the ensuing years, South Carolina has made great strides, but there is still work to do.

Accompanied by lawmakers and representatives from centers statewide, Silent Tears announced a $5 million gift from the Castellani family. The commitment will fund a second phase of support for organizations that promote an end to child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence across South Carolina, including the 17 Children’s Advocacy Centers of S.C., 15 rape crisis and 12 domestic violence centers.

“God placed these issues on our hearts, and because we had the ability to help, we felt compelled to act,” Founder Bob Castellani said. “Silent Tears is providing support to those organizations that work each day with the victims of these crimes, and we look forward to fulfilling more grant requests in the weeks and months to come.”

The following organizations were included in the first round of grants and have already received funding that will address a variety of capital needs – from roof repairs to replacing outdated heating and cooling units.

Beyond Abuse $15,000

Foothills Alliance $20,000

Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault $32,000

Pee Dee Coalition $50,000

Child Advocacy Center of Aiken $26,000

Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union $10,000

Friends of the Metropolitan Children’s Advocacy Center $16,000

Pickens County Advocacy Center $10,000

Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition $20,000

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands $10,000

YWCA of Upper Lowlands $35,000

Generations Group $50,000

Care House of the Pee Dee $18,500

Child Freedom Coalition $50,000

South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers $5,000

Organizations interested in applying for future Silent Tears grants can apply online at, a newly redesigned website that also launched Thursday. Shauna Galloway-Williams, executive director of the Julie Valentine Center, expressed gratitude for the investment Bob Castellani and his family have made during the past decade. “The Castellani Family may never know the full extent of their reach, but know for each child that receives a forensic interview and counseling at a CAC, for every rape victim who is met by an advocate at the ER during a rape exam, and for every family that finds shelter and support free of violence, the family has made an investment in the change and for that we are all grateful,” Galloway-Williams said.

Also on Thursday, Silent Tears announced a partnership with ELYSIAN magazine that will allow the best practices established in South Carolina to reach a nationwide audience. The success stories and gains made in this state will reach decision-makers across the country through the ELYSIAN platform, affecting even greater change.

For more information, contact Kelly Nichols, director of philanthropy, Silent Tears SC, 864-596-7501 or