SC ranks 2nd in nation for domestic violence deaths - FOX Carolina 21

SC ranks 2nd in nation for domestic violence deaths

Posted: Updated: Sep 20, 2012 01:45 PM
Safe Harbor's office located in Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina) Safe Harbor's office located in Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina)

A new report says South Carolina is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to men killing women.

Every year the Violence Policy Center ranks the states based on deaths from domestic violence and the numbers from 2010 have just been studied, ranking South Carolina second worst in the nation.

"I'm really frustrated that in South Carolina, we can't do a better job of protecting the women and children from the people who are supposed to love them the most," said Becky Callaham, executive director of Safe Harbor, which is a nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims in the Upstate.

Callaham says she hears the horrific, heartbreaking stories of domestic violence victims every day.

"We have to work and change the mindsets of people and also continue to raise awareness," said Callaham.

Traci Fant also works to help women and children escape abusive situations in the Upstate.

She runs Think Twice and knows firsthand how difficult and dangerous it can be to leave.

"When I made up my mind to leave, I felt like really it was going to be me or him and I needed to leave; really, I felt like it time for one of us to get out of the situation or it was going to turn deadly," Fant said.

Fant was able to leave with the support of family and is working to make sure South Carolina does not rank number two forever.

"You have to talk about it, because it's real, it's relevant, we're ranked No. 2," said Fant. "That's crazy to me. That's ridiculous."

Domestic violence experts tell victims to have a safety plan in place, which includes when to leave and how.

And SafeHarbor says more needs to be done on prevention, to teach the next generation about healthy relationships and to make sure there are strong laws in place to protect victims and arrest and prosecute abusers.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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