COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Tuesday morning, officials held the 26th Annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony.

The solemn event was held on the south steps of the State House. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson called the names of twenty-nine women and seven men from across the state who lost their lives in the previous year as the result of domestic violence.

Family members carried life-sized silhouettes representing victims to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim. An additional thirty-seventh silhouette was carried to represent potential unknown victims.

“In silence, we bear witness to the pain and loss caused by domestic violence. It is a somber commitment to remember, to honor, and to break the cycle of abuse,” said Wilson. “Domestic violence leaves scars often unseen. By raising awareness and supporting survivors, we can help end the abuse, one act of courage and compassion at a time.”

The Violence Policy Center will release a 25-year special report on October 4th that details data and trends across the nation related to men killing women. The report details state rankings from 1996 through 2020. According to the attorney general’s office, the report lists South Carolina in the top five for 11 years, the top 10 for 12 years, 11th in 2018, and a final ranking in 2020 of 23rd in the nation.

If you or if you suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.