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South Carolina Ranks #1 in the Nation for Relationship Violence

September 17, 2015 - Posted in Palmetto Scene by Katie Geer

South Carolina has once again filled the number one spot for women killed by men in the nation. A new study released by the Violence Policy Center  showed that across the nation “more than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2013 and the most common weapon used was a gun.”  South Carolina led the nation with 57 women killed, followed by Alaska and New Mexico. The study rates the top ten most deadly states for women killed by men based on population.

The study showed that 94 percent of the women who died were killed by a man they knew. And of the women who knew their offender, a staggering 62 percent were intimate with their killer, as wives or as a significant other.

This is not the first time South Carolina has held the top spot, in fact it's the fourth time. According to the Post and Courier, over the last 17 years, South Carolina has ranked in the top ten states every year. The online publication pointed out that, “300 women have died in South Carolina at the hands of a man who once loved them.” That works out to about one killing every 12 days for ten years, making South Carolina  historically one of deadliest places for women in the country. 

Out of the 57 murdered women in South Carolina, “43 of them were white, 21 were black, and one was Asian or Pacific Islander, and one was of unknown race” according to The State.

“We see such a 'mind your own business' attitude here in this state, that makes it really hard to break through and have an in-depth concern for those around us who are in this situation,” said Dr. Peter Warren. Warren has just finished his doctorate program at the University of South Carolina, looking into the role men play in interpersonal violence. Palmetto Scene spoke with him in regard to this issue facing the state. “We are just so, private. That’s really the best way to put it. The idea that it’s no one’s business but our own. So we don't ask. We don't tell. And our women die because of it.”

On October 1, Palmetto Scene released an original podcast series that delves into the topic of intimate partner violence in the state of South Carolina. This podcast series will span eight weeks. Topics include a general understanding of what intimate partner violence is, breaking up the  myths around relationship violence, looking at the effects on children, and marriages and the community, and how men and women can both be victims of intimate partner violence. While 1 out of 4 women in South Carolina will be a victim of some sort of relationship abuse at some point in their life, the number for men is 1 out of 10. Men have a significantly lower rate of reporting relationship issues then women. There will be a whole podcast that looks into why it's hard for men to report and what type of unique abuse they tend to suffer.

Listen to the promotional segment for the series above, and check back on Palmetto Scene for more information coming soon.

Find us on Twitter at @PalmettoScene and share your thoughts on South Carolina’s ranking in the top spot for the fourth time. Share with us what you think S.C. should do to lower rates of relationship violence in the state.

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