Columbia International University student Baron O’Neal has been named “Volunteer of the Quarter” by Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) in Columbia, S.C. O’Neal is a senior majoring in Psychology.
As a volunteer, O’Neal provides service to survivors of sexual assault during hotline calls and at the hospital. While it is unusual for a man to counsel victims of sexual trauma, O’Neal encourages more men to volunteer.
“It is a myth that women will be afraid of a man being there after a sexual assault,” O’Neal told STSM’s newsletter New Beginnings. “It has been my experience that the survivor, male or female, cares less about who you are and more about how well you are doing what you are there to do.”
STSM Volunteer Services Coordinator Sarah Moran Nevarez calls O’Neal a dedicated volunteer.
“He is compassionate and truly cares about every survivor he works with,” Nevarez said.