Domestic abuse and domestic murder rates have dropped steeply nationwide. But not in South Carolina, which has the highest rate of male on female murders in the country.
While national rates plummeted 64% over the last two decades, SC’s domestic violence rate didn’t budge. In just one of those decades, alone, 300 women were murdered.
When Arkansas recently faced similarly shocking statistics, some blamed the erosion of traditional family values - or even women for not leaving their abusers. However, in its investigation of SC’s alarming statistics, the Charleston Post and Courier linked that state’s violence to a combination of strong conservative and religious mores and a deficiency in strong domestic violence laws - which have taken a backseat to much more easily passed gun laws.
A most disturbing fact is that many domestic murders have been committed by men who were supposed to have been under restraining orders or parole conditions that were not being properly monitored.
A tragic story of a young mother killed by her ex-boyfriend has prompted Arkansas’s gubernatorial candidate to call for strong domestic violence legislation in his state. Ask SC’s Governor Nikki Haley to get her head out of the sand and do the same for women in South Carolina!
We, the undersigned say there’s no excuse for South Carolina to continue to lag so far behind the national average in protecting its women from domestic violence.
As a Huffington Post investigation of the tragic murder of Laura Aceves reveals, states with high domestic violence rates often do not properly enforce restraining orders or monitor parole violations. If Arkansas had done so, Aceves and other women would still be alive.
Some believe judges should be given power to put GPS tracking on offenders who violate restraining orders, and a study has found that offenders out on bail who were required to wear these trackers, rarely tried to contact their victims. However states have resisted passing such laws.
Arkansas candidate Mike Ross has come up with an aggressive multipart plan for his state that would change the way police respond to domestic violence calls, increase funding for shelters and create a confidential address program for victims of stalking and/or abuse.
But it appears South Carolina’s governor may need some prompting to get with the program. According to Identities.Mic, “Haley attempted to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from rape crisis centers in 2012.”.
We request that Governor Haley consider this petition as a push in the direction of what Mike Ross is proposing - that she strongly support a comprehensive program to protect South Carolina women from domestic violence.
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