CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – After an increase of domestic violence cases during the pandemic, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said the number of cases has gone down.
In 2020, the sheriff’s office reported over 200 domestic violence cases. This year, they’ve reported nearly 130 cases. 7 of which have happened in the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We say her name, we constantly bring her up, we will not let her be gone,” said Jennifer Davidson.
Davidson lost her sister, Tina Makupson, in 2018 to domestic violence. She says they started seeing the abuse two years earlier.
“Tina came to the door and she was beat, almost then, unrecognizable,” she said.
Davidson says she pleaded with her sister her to get out, but she ended up getting back together with her abuser. A decision says that cost her sister her life.
“People were telling us, ‘this boy’s dangerous, he’s going to kill her.’ We know Tina, she’s a fighter, he might try but he won’t do it, but he did,” said Davidson.
Davidson says when her family couldn’t contact Tina on January 22nd, 2018, they knew something was wrong. They went to her home to check, but she didn’t answer the door. They called law enforcement to her house so they could get inside. That’s where they found Tina.
“He beat her, with his hands. She was literally beaten to death,” Davidson recalled.
Tina’s story is sadly one of many in Cherokee County and the state.
“Lives are being lost in our community, since 1996 there’s been 35 deaths just in Cherokee County as a result of domestic violence,” said Sheriff Steve Mueller.
Sheriff Steve Mueller says there were 225 cases in 2019 and 235 in 2020.
“South Carolina often has been number one, two or three in domestic violence instances, and that’s not a category that you should be proud of,” said Mueller.
Because of this violence, with every birthday that passes, each holiday, Tina’s family is looking over at the empty seat she once filled.
Davidson says they will continue to be a voice for her sister Tina. Her message to anyone in this situation is to get out as soon as you can.
If you, or someone close to you, is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources available.
To speak with someone immediately call Safe Homes-rape Crisis Coalition Hotline at 1-800-273-5066. To see more of their resources, click here for their website.