COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley has declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an effort to call attention to the importance of community collaboration and civic involvement to eradicate domestic violence and sexual assault.
The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault urges residents of South Carolina to join their voices and efforts with others around the nation to recognize the deadly impact of domestic violence in our communities.
South Carolina again ranked first in the nation for women murdered by men, with a rate of 2.32 per 100,000, according to the new Violence Policy Center report When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2013Homicide Data.
This is the 18th year in a row that South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men and the fourth year in which the state has been identified as having the highest lethality rate by this count. The rate of 2.32 per 100,000 is over twice the national average of 1.09 per 100,000.
Of the homicide victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were murdered by a husband, common-law husband, ex-husband, or boyfriend. Further, for homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 71 percent of female victims were shot and killed with guns. This year’s report compiles and utilizes 2013 data, the most recent year for which data is available.
”The crime of domestic violence violates a person’s privacy, dignity, security and humanity through the systematic use of physical, sexual and/or psychological assault or abuse in order to exert control over that individual,” Haley in her proclamation released Sept. 29.
The statewide Domestic Violence Task Force convened by Haley recently issued a report containing 50 recommendations for needed changes in the systemic and community response to the crime of domestic violence.
In May, South Carolina’s Legislature passed reforms in domestic violence laws that aim to increase accountability for offenders, provides for state law prohibitions on the possession of firearms by anyone convicted of domestic violence and requires prevention education for students in our schools.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, equating to more than 10 million assaults each year. In South Carolina alone, more than 36,000 victims report domestic violence incidents annually to law enforcement statewide, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s office.
The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is a statewide coalition made up of the 23 domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs in South Carolina.
To learn more regarding Domestic Violence Awareness Month or to support your local domestic violence organization visit www.scsaysnomore.org