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February 24, 2023
Social Mission: Sistercare
Each year, Fig Columbia partners with an organization that makes our surrounding community a better place to live. For 2023 we are proud to support and share the mission of Sistercare, a non-profit based in the Midlands that provides services and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and their children in Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, and Richland counties.
Their philosophy is to empower survivors of domestic violence and their children to live free of intimate partner violence; become educated about domestic violence; be able to make informed decisions; take responsibility for themselves and their children; and achieve self-sufficiency. Sistercare works closely with survivors and their children to achieve these goals by providing emergency shelter, trauma-informed services, and community-based programs so they can live a life free from fear.
“Our emergency shelters are continuously at or near capacity; serving domestic violence survivors remains a huge need in our community,” said Leah Wicevic, Director of Administration and Operations at Sistercare. “We have a confidential 24/7 crisis line and anyone in need can call 803.765.9428 when shelter or other services are needed. We have 49 beds total between the two emergency shelter locations, and everything is arranged so it is conducive for families, as many of the survivors that we serve are fleeing abuse with their children.”
While all survivors are welcomed into the emergency shelters that Sistercare operates, some individuals may only need community-based services as they transition to an independent, violence-free life. “Sistercare has two arms,” said Leah. “One is the emergency shelter arm that people often associate with Sistercare. The other arm is comprised of community-based services that include safety planning, counseling, rural services, housing, hospital accompaniment services, court advocacy, legal representation, and more to help survivors have the necessary support and tools to live safely and free from abuse.”
In 2022, Sistercare served over 3,500 domestic violence survivors and their children, and South Carolina remains one of the top states for the rate of women murdered by men. It is more important than ever for survivors to know they are not alone and that Sistercare can help, free of charge.
“Domestic violence is a community issue,” said Leah. “It is collectively our responsibility to help and empower survivors in our neighborhoods, in our places of worship, in our offices, and in our social circles. One in four women and one in seven men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, so it is likely that a co-worker, a member of your book club, the friend at the end of the street, or a family member has been abused.”
“It is also collectively our responsibility to help prevent the intergenerational cycle of violence by educating one another, being informed of domestic violence issues in the community, understanding how domestic violence impacts our economy, and teaching our youth about healthy relationships. Together we can make a difference in changing and possibly saving lives.”
To learn more about Sistercare’s programs, available resources, and ways that you can partner with them, visit sistercare.org. You can also follow their social media platforms for the latest news and updates! (@sistercaresc for Instagram and Twitter, @sistercare for Facebook)