SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell announced Wednesday he has created a special ad hoc committee that will be tasked with finding ways to end South Carolina’s status as the nation’s highest rate for women murdered by men.
The Special Criminal Domestic Violence Ad Hoc Committee had its first organizational meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Harrell named the ad hoc domestic violence committee after the Charleston Post & Courier ran a series of articles detailing serious legal and cultural problems that cause the rate of women killed by men in South Carolina to be nearly double the national rate.
The articles noted that 14 pieces of legislation have been proposed in the Statehouse concerning domestic violence in the last two years. But only one of those measures passed– dealing with custody of pets that may be caught up in the situation.
Committee chair State Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, said the panel will hear from experts, stakeholders, and the public to see if criminal laws could be toughened or the law enforcement and legal system improved to help reduce the violence. Erickson said she hoped the committee would be able to recommend comprehensive reform, not piecemeal changes. [Read more...]