Empowered to Heal joins Florence Chamber, holds ribbon cutting

By: Andrew Boardwine

FLORENCE, S.C. — Empowered To Heal joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday to celebrate its new chamber membership with a ribbon cutting.

Empowered To Heal, at 525 S. Dargan St., is a nonprofit organization that provides recovery care and counseling referrals for adult survivors of child abuse and sexual assault.

Jennifer Robinson, executive director of the organization, said the main focus is to provide resources to those survivors.

“My experience is that I am a survivor,” Robinson said. “I wanted to make sure that people knew that there is life after sexual trauma. I used to work for an agency that provided services for sexual abuse, but what happened was that I didn’t see a lot of follow-up.”

“What happens to a survivor after the meetings, courthouse or the hospital?” Robinson said. “What people don’t realize is that survivorship is a lifetime thing. So, if survivorship is a lifetime thing, then support is lifetime. I wanted to make sure that they received that support.”

Robinson said that after much counsel and talking with her husband, she decided to open the organization in 2014. Since its inception, she said, Empowered To Heal has helped about 25 people and has met with hundreds.

Robinson said the organization offers several programs, including journey planning, helping clients reach their goals through mentoring and support sessions, as well as education and training. The organization is partnered with Stewart Behavioral Health.

“What I tell survivors is that it’s hard to walk this journey alone,” Robinson said. “We try to strongly recommend counseling and finding that someone who can help you with the journey. We want to provide the resources that we can, and the people that we can through volunteers and different businesses, to help anyway possible.”

For more information, visit empoweredtoheal.org or contact it at 843-779-5638. The organization also has social media pages for the public to follow.

Robinson said all information received is completely confidential.

“We want to focus on the recovery,” Robinson said. “We want people to know that you have someone to come to that won’t judge, that won’t push you aside and that will always spend their time encouraging you. Our tagline is ‘healing is a journey that begins with you.’ We want people to know that it begins with you, but we are along for the ride.”