Domestic violence continues to be a serious problem in South Carolina. In a recent study released in late September conducted by The Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., South Carolina ranked seventh in the nation for the number of men murdering women in domestic abuse situations.
On Tuesday, the 14th annual Silent Witness Ceremony was held at the south side of the Statehouse to recognize the victims killed in the previous year in domestic violence situations.
Felicia Shiver, a domestic violence survivor herself, said she endured years of abuse before finally deciding she had to make the decision to leave a situation that almost ended with her death. Shiver urged domestic violence victims to stop protecting their abusers.
Meanwhile, Orangeburg County recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in a Monday ceremony. Chandra McPherson, Director of Victims Services for Orangeburg County, says women who are abused need to know that if they need to leave a bad situation help is available for them and their children. She says women who come to shelters may try numerous times to reconcile with their partners before leaving the situation permanently.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says more cases of domestic violence cases are being processed in the state due to the work of a number of volunteers in the legal profession who serve as pro bono prosecutors.
Ginny Waller, Executive Director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands in Columbia says people are more open now to talk about domestic violence. Waller says programs for intervention and prevention bring hope for the future and will help curb the number of cases of domestic violence in South Carolina.
In 2010, 34 women and 10 men were the victims of homicide in domestic violence cases in South Carolina. Those numbers are down 11 percent from the previous year.