The United States is, without a doubt, one of the most modern and developed countries in the world. Despite that, it’s still a country where domestic violence is a big problem even to this day.
According to the National Institutes of Health, domestic violence is very common in the US. Every year, it affects over ten million people across the country. Recently, one US state that’s found itself at the center of a growing domestic violence culture is South Carolina (SC).
South Carolina’s Growing Domestic Violence Problem
World Population Review reports that in 2023, SC ranked as the sixth highest domestic violence rate in the US. The state has seen 42.3 percent of its women population experience domestic abuse this year alone. At the same time, it was also reported that 29.2 percent of men in SC also experienced domestic violence in 2023.
Addressing the Abuse
Having established SC’s growing problem with domestic violence, it’s now vital to understand how to address it. Here’s how that can be done.
Recognize the Abuse
You should know that abuse can take many forms. From physical and emotional abuse to psychological torture, it’s also abuse. Victims often tend to downplay and even deny the abuse. They make themselves believe that it’s somehow their fault, they deserve it, or worse, it’s not really abuse.
The behavior is never justified, and you have every right to live a life free from fear and violence. Therefore, accepting the fact that you are a victim of abuse is a courageous and empowering first step towards change.
Call 1-888-227-3487 to the South Carolina Department of Social Services. Here, you can report the abuse and reach out for help. Also, keep essential documents (such as identification, bank statements, and birth certificates) in a secure location outside your home. Consider changing your daily routines to minimize contact with your abuser as well.
Document the Abuse
Keeping records of the abuse can be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action or obtain a restraining order against your abuser. Document each incident as thoroughly as possible, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of what occurred.
If you have physical injuries, photograph them as evidence. Save any threatening messages, voicemails, or emails you receive.
If you believe you are in danger, consider seeking legal protection by obtaining a restraining order or protection order against your abuser. Consult an attorney to understand how you should proceed with the situation. With a restraining order, you can ensure that your abuser keeps their distance from you.
For additional legal protection, check out the Contact Us pages on SC-based law firm websites. There, you can get in touch with an attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases. Usually, these are family law firms that offer a wide range of legal services related to domestic violence, divorce, child support, etc.
According to Harden Law Firm, family law firms are very passionate about helping when it comes to supporting people in familial disputes. You should contact a family law firm that specifically operates in your neighborhood of SC.
For instance, your domestic violence incident took place in Fort Mill. Therefore, you should contact a family or domestic violence lawyer from Fort Mill, SC. Local lawyers and law firms are more aware of what counts as abuse in your part of the town. Thus, they have an easier time to navigate the case.
You don’t have to deal with a domestic violence case all by yourself. Remember, you have friends and family members whom you can trust, and who can offer emotional support as well. Share your experience with them as it can be therapeutic. There are also domestic violence support organizations in SC that you can reach out to.
According to WBTW, South Carolina ranks at the top of the list when it comes to domestic violence-related deaths in the US. This little bit of information paired with the statistics discussed at the start paints SC in a very ugly color.
However, the situation in SC is improving. Specialized domestic violence courts in the state are playing a pivotal role here. With each passing day, there’s a bit of hope for SC locals. Even then, if you’re from South Carolina, you must be vigilant and aware of your rights.
If you or a loved one falls victim to domestic violence, don’t hesitate to take the steps discussed above. Taking and not taking these steps could make all the difference between life and death.