South Carolina Ranks 5 in Domestic Violence Rates


Spartanburg, SC (WSPA)

South Carolina ranks in the top five states for women murdered by men. The Palmetto State ranking in the top 5 for the sixth year in a row.

Spartanburg County’s solicitors office is working to change that ranking. South Carolina is actually number five on that list, down from number one just a few years ago.

Now the Spartanburg County solicitor is taking a very aggressive approach and sending a strong message to offenders.

A new report released by the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, show that the numbers are staggering. Julie Meredith of Safe Harbor, an organization that helps women and children in dangerous domestic situations says, “In South Carolina we struggle in several ways definitely a need in my mind, for some additional legislation.”

Spartanburg Solicitor Barry Barnett is working to change that with a new initiative called ‘Operation Home Front’ it changes the way domestic cases are handled. It’s a take from a similar program in North Carolina and adds more strength to laws already on the books, Solicitor Barry Barnett says, “Now officer goes out there in violation they can be arrested right on the spot. They have a court order that gives the sheriffs department the authority to do that through the home detention program.”

In 2015, 46 women we killed by men in domestic situations. In 2016, Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office handled more than 38,000 domestic cases. Many of those are repeat offenders.

Clearly the numbers are high, but things seem to be changing.

Bond hearings in Spartanburg are held 7 days a week at 2pm, so violators have their day in court.

Barnett says it’s a good move, “numbers dropping we’re protecting people better and we hope it continues will know more by the end of the year”

There are sure to be many more as its no longer left up to the victim to press charges, the legal system steps in and starts the legal process. Julie says it’s a good move in the right direction, “There is the need for consistency in the way our various systems are working and working together to protect victims and also holding perpetrators accountable”

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