Helping Hands: Tami Maro

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Updated Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:51 pm

Provided Tami Maro

Volunteer with the Rape Crisis Center

Bio: Native of Buchanan County, VA

Pawleys Island resident for 25 years

Formerly worked as an accountant and in Real Estate

Managed Pawleys Pier Village for 13 years

Owns Premier Properties of South Carolina, Inc.

Licensed residential builder

How did you get involved with the Rape Crisis Center?

I was looking for help regarding a case of sexual abuse against me during my childhood.

I called the number for the Rape Crisis Center and got Joyce Hart, director of the foundation.

Amazingly, she used to work at the prosecutorís office one county over from where I lived growing up.

She knew about the amount of sexual abuse in that area and she encouraged me to pursue charges.

Now, my abuser, who is my uncle by marriage, has been indicted and is awaiting trial.

I was so impressed with the support from them and how they guided me through the process that I joined the organization.

I have gotten more healing from my service with the Rape Crisis Center and helping victims than anything else.

What do you do with the Rape Crisis Center?

Our services are staffed 24 hours a day, so we run shifts.

I also do whatever needs to be done, including helping with fund-raising events.

We take calls from people considering suicide to people who have been abused who want to talk to somebody.

We also get calls from hospitals.

When they have a rape victim, a nurse does the examination. We provide clothing for the victim and foot the bill.

We also provide counseling after the fact.

A lot of times we are there when no one else is.

My first crisis call after my training was from two 14-year-old girls from Kentucky who were given the date rape drug at a night club in Myrtle Beach.

All of their friends and family were in Kentucky, so they had nobody.

That is a bigger problem than most people realize.

A lot of the girls we hear from are tourists.

They donít want to tell their parents they were raped or come back and press charges.

Not only does the public not hear about it, nothing is ever done.

What is most rewarding about volunteering with the Rape Crisis Center?

It is very empowering to know you can be the voice that helps someone in their time of need.

It is the most awesome thing Iíve ever been involved with.

Iím very passionate about it.

To date Iíve probably worked with 24 or 25 victims.

Being a victim myself does give me a unique perspective.

And Iím standing there which shows I made it, you do come through it.

What would you tell people who would like to help?

If people have any time to spare whatsoever, I would urge them to help in any way they can.

It takes a special person.

It almost has to be person who went through assault to have empathy for the victims.

If people want to volunteer, they can call the Rape Crisis Center office at 448-3180.

The crisis line is 448-7273.

Can you tell me about your family?

My husband Carlo is the owner of Carloís Complete Car Care Center, Inc., across from the new Lowes Foods in Pawleys Island.

We have a son, Jonah, who is a rising junior at Waccamaw High School.

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