Remember these guys?
Yeah, they have nothing to do with what I am about to say. But I did want to make you smile before I talk about what I am about to talk about. I want to talk about S.3, the bill that will add more protection to criminal domestic violence victims, and the context in which this bill is placed.
First, here's what the bill is set out to do:
" RELATING TO THE ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A PERSON CONVICTED OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON CONVICTED OF A CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE OR A PERSON SUBJECT TO AN ORDER OF PROTECTION FOR DOMESTIC OR FAMILY VIOLENCE TO SHIP, TRANSPORT, OR RECEIVE A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION, AND TO PROVIDE NOTICE TO A PERSON TO WHOM THE STATUTE APPLIES"
"TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MUST ORDER PARTICIPATION IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM AND ALLOW A RESTRICTION ON FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION AS A CONDITION OF BOND"
"TO PROVIDE NECESSARY DEFINITIONS AND TO ESTABLISH A PROCEDURE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT AND EMERGENCY CIVIL NO-CONTACT ORDERS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE DURATION OF CIVIL NO-CONTACT ORDERS, AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR THE VIOLATION OF CIVIL NO-CONTACT ORDERS"
Second, here's the reason for why this is needed:
"More than 300 women were shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men in South Carolina, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse." - The Post and Courier, Till death do us part.
If that's not reason enough, then watch this:
What sparked my reason to write this blog post was the visceral reaction that I had to victim's stories posted by The Post and Courier. I help out with social media postings (surprise, I'm a male!), and while I was curating some links to schedule I started watching these videos. I was alone in my office and couldn't help but cry.
Dolly Ritchie, Therese D'Encarnacao, Danielle Richardson and Christan Rainey were just four of the countless victims of Domestic Violence in South Carolina (If you have the time, I really implore you to click the links and watch their stories). Every one of these people have experienced something that I have not. Every one of these people have truly gone through a horrific experience. And every one of these people's experiences could have been prevented.
S.3 is a great step to help those who suffer from domestic violence, but it is far from enough. We, as a culture and society, need to "challenge the attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate abuse" and condemn South Carolina's violent history toward women. We all know someone who could potentially be suffering similar experiences like Dolly, Therese, Danielle and Christan. We all could one day experience domestic violence ourselves. And while I know that it is a tad naive to believe we can eradicate all violence in our State, I hope that we can make an honest attempt.
I will admit, I'm privileged: I'm white. I'm male. I'm tall. I'm strong. I'm educated. I have a car.
But not everyone can. Knowing this, really understanding this fact, can bring you to tears. It did me.
If you know someone who might be suffering, or know someone who could use some advice, there are resources:
Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, Columbia
Phone: (803) 790-8208
Sistercare, Inc. Columbia
Hotline: (803) 765-9428
Phone: (803) 926-0505
Safe Passage Inc. Rock Hill
Hotline: (800) 659-0977
Phone: (803) 329-2800
My Sister’s House Domestic violence services for Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties
Phone (843) 747-4069
Hotline (800) 273-4673
People Against Rape Sexual assault services for Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester
Phone (843) 577-9882
Hotline (843) 745-0144
Liza’s Lifeline Education, aid to victims, their families and pets
Phone (843) 991-9085
Family Court (orders of protection)
Charleston County (843) 958-4400
Berkeley County (843) 719-4500
Dorchester County (843) 832-0360
Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, Florence
Hotline: (800) 273-1820
Phone: (843) 669-4600