One Sunday morning, June 8, 2008, a 19 year old woman was jogging in and around her neighborhood, just like most mornings. An unknown man sprang from the bushes, knocking this young jogger down an embankment. She fought back, but she was no match for her assailant. He sexually assaulted and severely beat her. This young woman required much more than The State Office of Victim's Assistance (SOVA) could provide; her community sprang to action, organizing a charity 5k to help with her mounting expenses.
It is now 2016 and her external wounds have healed. She no longer needs the financial help that her community stepped up to offer, but unfortunately there are others that do. The former 5k has evolved into a certified 5k and 10k and now benefits the Julie Valentine Center, so that they are able to assist others who have experienced sexual assault.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of an innocent child who is being abused. Imagine the confusion and anger you feel. Imagine wondering if your home is safe. Imagine thinking there's nowhere left to turn, and then you discover a place that can help.
Now imagine you are not alone. As an abused child, spouse or sexual assault victim, you meet others just like you who overcame the unspeakable things that happened. That's exactly why the Julie Valentine Center is here, to help people in your shoes.
The inspiration for the team at Julie Valentine Center comes from an infant who was found deceased in a wooded area in Greenville on a cold February day in 1990. The police, so touched by the tragedy, named her Julie Valentine.
Adopted by the community, her legacy has become a symbol of hope for those who have survived rape or child abuse.