New Darlington County Sheriff creates Special Victims Unit to crack down on domestic violence

Darlington, SC (WBTW) – Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis wants to crack down on domestic violence in the County. Sheriff Chavis created the Special Victims Unit (SVU) to properly investigate domestic violence, vulnerable adults, and crimes against children.

Darlington County Special Victims Unit specializes in helping victims as they recover. The unit is made up of three people. Two investigate domestic violence and track sex offenders. The other one investigates child and elderly abuse while working with the Department of Social Service (DSS).

SVU Lt. Larry Stivender has been working with special victims for about ten years. He says he hopes changes to domestic violence laws create stronger prosecutions.

Lt. Stivender said, “People need to understand in your relationship you should be treated like a priority not property. No one has the right to control or beat you.

The Darlington Sheriff’s SVU works with local agencies like the Pee Dee coalition and Durant Children’s Center to make sure victims have resources to recover.

The Sheriff’s Office hopes to hire another investigator to the team of three.

Lt. Stivender, “I want to have a person with the same passion to do this. Everybody won’t deal with it well. Especially with children and women, it’s some bad things we see.”

Lt. Stivender says the County now has a Special Prosecutor and each member of the SVU is a victims advocate.

For more information about the Darlington County SVU position contact the Sheriff’s Office at 843-398-4501.