MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – South Carolina is no longer the deadliest state in the nation for women murdered by men. It’s been in the number one and number two spot for several years now but a new report from the Violence Policy Center rates South Carolina as number five.
Dozens of women die each year in South Carolina from domestic violence. Many women think it’s impossible to get away. The executive director of New Directions says that’s why South Carolina has historically ranked number one.
“It’s hard to break that cycle like it’s hard to break any cycle that someone is caught in.”
Kathy Jenkins said many are in denial that domestic violence is even happening to them.
“Domestic violence does not discriminate. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, no matter who you are no matter what your situation is, no matter what socioeconomic class, or race or age, it can happen to anyone.”
About a year ago, Jenkins said she realized new directions did not offer battered women what they really needed.
“Until we offered shelters for people who were going to be homeless due to domestic violence, until we went beyond offering a safe house, we weren’t serving the greater need in this community.”
Jenkins said until they offered multiple shelters, hundreds of battered women fell through the cracks.
“We took domestic violence calls for a little over 300 people and only 81 were able to come into the shelter. So i would like to think that now, the 200 people who weren’t able to come into the shelter before have been served.”
She said the only way South Carolina will keep improving, is for women to admit they need help.
“If you are a victim of domestic abuse and you’re going to have to walk away and have absolutely nothing, there is help for you.”
We also spoke with solicitor Jimmy Richardson on why he thinks South Carolina dropped in the rankings.
He said it has everything to do with education and awareness and stricter penalties for this crime.
He said next year, since there is more money for domestic violence prosecutors, he said he expects domestic violence numbers to keep dwindling.