Project BEST graduates!

Chesnee Martin and Jacqui Mueller are now rostered in Project BEST. Project BEST is an 8-month learning collaborative including live learning sessions, consultation calls, a test cases that trains clinicians how to use TFCBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) with fidelity and success. This is a huge accomplishment for both of them. We are very proud of Chesnee and Jacqui for their hard work and dedication to working with traumatized youth.

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