The University of South Carolina School of Law Women in Law (WIL) student organization has a long history of helping out the community at large. In February 2017, they donated $2,000 to the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM).
The money was raised last semester during the 20th annual 5K race, “WIL to Run.” In previous years, the 5K was held in the spring, close to Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, but with other community events happening around that time, organizers thought moving their event to the fall would bring year-round attention to the mission of STSM. The fall event brought in 58 runners and over 50 volunteers.
WIL aims to promote the interests of women within the legal profession and to further the exchange of ideas among women, as well as support the community through pro bono projects.
“We feel very privileged to have the opportunity to further our education and join the legal profession, and we feel it is our duty to take these blessings and use them for the greater good,” says WIL treasurer and second-year law student Kristen Sweaney.
In addition to raising $2,000 to benefit STSM, WIL hopes the race will increase awareness about the services STSM provides: crisis intervention, advocacy, and support services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse in Richland, Lexington and Newberry counties.
“Sexual violence, assault, and abuse happen in our community, and these things cannot be ignored,” says Sweaney. “This race is our very small way of showing the victims that we believe them, we support them, and we have been there, too.”
WIL is already planning this fall’s race, and hopes to get even more participation and donations for the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.