Vote for stronger punishment against Domestic Violence in South Carolina
My name is Melissa Davis Walker, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am tired of living in a state with the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. We need laws that protect victims from the people that abuse them. Currently, the laws are failing victims and they make little sense. First time offenses hold a 30 day sentence. But if you beat a dog, you could get up to 5 years. Tell Governor Nikki Haley and the South Carolina legislature that victims deserve stronger laws that protect them from the threat of domestic violence, pass Bill S3.
For 13 years, my five children and I lived in fear. My husband threatened, beat and choked me for the duration of our marriage, and I felt like the law couldn’t protect me. It was only when my son bravely confided in a school official after my husband pointed a loaded shotgun at his head, that we finally got the legal support we needed to put him behind bars. If he had only been charged for attacking me, he would be walking free today, and I might not be here to tell my story.
South Carolina is ground zero in the domestic violence fight. The toll of domestic violence is especially high on women. The state has the highest rate of female murders at the hands of men in the country, most attributed to domestic violence. Last year South Carolina’s murder rate for women was more than double that of the nation. Despite all this, there are few resources for victims of domestic violence and lax laws to punish their abusers.
The state is considering a bill that will require harsher punishments for offenders in the hopes of stemming the cycle of abuse. Bill S3 will allow the government to base punishment not on the number of times a person has committed the crime, but on the severity of the injury caused to the victim. No longer would a first time offense put you behind bars for a mere 30 days with a chance at release after serving just 15.
We must make sure this becomes law. Our laws reflect our values, and currently, our values are not adequately represented in our legal system. This doesn’t just reflect poorly on the state of South Carolina, but nationally, as domestic violence is a serious issue all throughout the United States. Victims’ lives must be protected and this law is a step towards that. Tell Gov. Nikki Haley and the South Carolina Legislature that women matter, pass Bill S3.
South Carolina State Senate
Take action to save victims of domestic violence.