Christy Sims to speak about personal empowerment following violence

In 2013, Christy Sims’ life was drastically and forever changed when she was violently attacked by her former boyfriend. Today, she shares her message of hope and survival around the country.

The Clark State College Sexual Violence Prevention Team (SVPT) will host Sims on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Sims will deliver her message:  “Empowering Yourself Beyond Intimate Partner Violence” beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Brinkman Education Center (room 403) in Springfield.

“Clark State's Sexual Violence Prevention Team is honored to bring Christy Sims to our campus and community,” says Melinda Van Noord, counseling coordinator at Clark State. “She has shared her powerful message of survival and hope with millions worldwide and her strong advocacy for victims of domestic violence has surely saved many lives.”

Sims is now a public speaker, author, a nationally-certified clinical mental health counselor and a survivor of and advocate against domestic violence. She is also a mother of two.

On April 28, 2013, Sims was severely disfigured by her ex-boyfriend when he doused her with sulfuric acid. Sims sustained third-and fourth-degree burns to more than 20 percent of her body, including her entire face, neck, chest and arms.

Following the incident, she remained in an induced coma for two months and endured numerous lifesaving surgeries at the Grady Burn Unitin Atlanta. She emerged from the coma with a resolve to survive, to return to her children and to pursue the prosecution of her abuser.

Because of her diligence, her abuser was finally brought to justice on July 17, 2015.
Sims is the first reported case of an acid attack in the state of Georgia. To date, she has undergone 13 surgeries to reconstruct her disfigured face and body, and her personal struggle has propelled her to advocate and support other survivors of domestic violence.

The SVPT was established in 2020. It is a collaboration of Clark State faculty, staff and students dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence, increasing the safety of the Clark State community and coordinating sexual violence prevention efforts and resources.

“Our goal is to maintain safe and supportive environments,” says Nina Wiley, assistant vice president of student affairs at Clark State.

Wiley says that through a coordinated community response approach, the SVPT provides sexual violence prevention education and intervention strategies to the campus community, fosters a safe environment where survivors are empowered to access resources and provides advocacy and support to survivors. The team meets monthly to asses, plan, monitor and evaluate campus prevention and response efforts.
“The SVPT incorporates various college resources and initiatives, such as trauma-informed practices to implement intentional and purposeful programming for our community,” says Wiley.

The Clark State Brinkman Education Center is located at 100 S. Limestone St. An RSVP to the Christy Sims speaking engagement is encouraged. For more information or to RSVP, contact Melinda VanNoord at [email protected] or 937.328.7961. For disability accommodations for this event, contact [email protected].
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Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

Lifelong Clark County resident Darci Jordan is a freelance writer and former staff writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Sun. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Communications. She currently also serves as a writer for the Clark State Community College marketing department. She enjoys time with her family, horses and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!