By HEATHER RUPPE
A new nationwide poll puts South Carolina as being the sixth-highest state in the nation for violence against women – all as eyes on this issue as a part of state and local leaders recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Violence Policy Center released their annual report this week. That report puts South Carolina sixth in the nation for 2021, with 57 homicides related to domestic violence.
The statistics have the Palmetto State as having 2.15 women murdered per 100,000 women: this is an increase from last year, which had 1.18 women killed in South Carolina per 100,000 women.
As of last week, there were 125 reported cases of domestic violence in Colleton County, according to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
To help bring light to this issue and to encourage domestic violence victims to seek help, the Hopeful Horizons non-profit organization is going to display wedding gowns at Beaufort County libraries during October.
Each gown will show the names of South Carolinians who were killed by their partners during domestic violence incidents this year. The Hopeful Horizons organization serves domestic violence victims in several area counties, including Colleton.
Local leaders from the Hopeful Horizons Outreach and Prevention Team are also hosting several upcoming vigils and events. These events are:
Walterboro Police Department’s National Night Out, held on Oct. 5th;
In His Name-Colleton Outreach Event on Monday, Oct. 11;
And an awareness event at the Colleton County Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Oct. 30th.
“The Violence Policy Center ranking is a stark reminder of the high rate of femicide in South Carolina,” said Hopeful Horizons’ CEO Kristin Dubrowski. serves Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. “However, those statistics are only part of the story,” said Dubrowski. “There are thousands of people whose lives are impacted by domestic violence each year in South Carolina. Domestic Violence Awareness Month not only provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost, but to also learn more about the issue, celebrate survivors and make a commitment to ending violence and abuse in our communities.”
For more information on the mission and vision of Hopeful Horizons, visit www.hopefulhorizons.org.