For several years, the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo has supported Sistercare, which seeks to provide safe shelter, care, and counseling for victims of domestic abuse.

Sistercare has now expanded its focus to include the phenomenon of dating violence. By age 18, the national statistics indicate 10 percent of male students and more than 20 percent of female students have experienced dating violence in their lives. Sistercare is actively studying and seeking ways to mitigate the issue.

Stalking is also a companion situation that affects a broader age group. More than 15 percent of women in 2011 reported experiencing one or more incidents of stalking, and 62 percent of those women were approached at work or at home by their stalker.

Sistercare is also exploring ways to confront cyberbullying. Counselors are available on-call 24 hours a day, and those counselors average between 250 and 300 calls per month. St. Andrews Optimists support Sistercare financially but has also had Club members serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. The speaker on for the January 12 meeting was Scott Friday, who is a current Board member.

 

Pictured is Sistercare Bard Member Scott Friday shown with Optimist President Jeremiah Davis (L) and speaker host Stuart Stout. Friday was presented a copy of the Optimist Creed.