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"It comes down to listening" S.C. still fighting battle against domestic violence

"It comes down to listening" S.C. still fighting battle against domestic violence

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness month. The latest report shows that South Carolina is one of the deadliest states for women. It's a battle South Carolina has been fighting for as long as Sara Barber can remember. She's the director of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

We rank 6th in the nation when it comes to the number of domestic violence cases that involve a death. This is only sightly better than last year, when South Carolina ranked 5th. But there's still a long way to go.

"We need to focus on prevention work moving forward so our community feels safe and valued and that we have appropriate measures to support when and if people come forward," said Barbers.

According to the Violence Policy Center, 59% of South Carolina women were killed with guns. And right now, work is still being done that was started by a task force created in 2015 by then-governor Nikki Haley.

"What I dream of for our state is a community in which everyone is safe. It comes down to listening and believing," said Barbers.

"When someone comes forward and tells you they're a victim, you may be the first person they've ever told so your reaction is crucial on whether they're able to seek the assistance they need."

The attorney general is having a Silent Witness Ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the south side of the State House. People will recognize fallen victims through life-size silhouettes carried by loved ones.

For a referral to local resources, contact SCCADVASA during office hours at 803-256-2900. Or, you can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-779-7233 for 24-hour assistance.

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