MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Domestic violence is an issue that remains a problem for South Carolina, a new report names it the worst state for domestic violence against women.
On Sunday people came together in our area to raise awareness of the issue at the first domestic violence awareness walk at Socastee High School.
They were touched by the loss of a son, daughter, sister or friend; and walked to give voice to those that no longer have one.
“I vowed to my son, on the last breath that he took, that I would be his voice,” said Lisa Robertson whose son, Jordan, died to an incident of domestic violence in 2013
“And the day that this happened, he was leaving that day and he never made it out,” said Robertson.
The death of her son gave Roberston a mission to spread awareness of the issue.
“I vowed to him that until my last breath, I will be his voice and that’s what keeps me going,” she said.
Gwendolyn Reed found herself in a similar position after the loss of her sister, Ebony, in 2013.
“Losing a sibling in the way that we lost her, I can only describe it as a culture shock,” said Reed.
Since then, she has made it her mission to educate others on the signs of abuse that she missed herself.
“If you have never been exposed to domestic violence or know the signs, you tend to overlook them or contribute them to different things… we did not recognize them.”
Reed says abuse isn’t only physical, so bruises and bumps aren’t the only signs to watch out for.
“It’s about control. The abuser wants control over the victim so a lot of times he’ll isolate her, you’ll see a change in that person’s normal behavior, maybe withdrawal,” said Reed.
Beyond educating others on domestic violence, organizer Tiffany Bray hopes Sunday’s walk will get people to finally get serious about abuse.
“I think people are scared to talk about it, we need to have more people open up and speak about stuff that happened, so we can actually do something about it.”
Money raised at Sunday’s event will benefit the Family Justice Center of Georgetown County which offers the area’s only safehouse for victims.