National domestic abuse cases shed light on local problem

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Domestic violence isn't generally a popular topic of conversation, but right now it's the subject headlining news across the country with the cases of NFL players Ray Rice and Greg Hardy.

South Carolina is one of the worst states in the country for domestic violence. It could be happening across the street, next door or even in your own home. Recent events finally have people talking about domestic violence, but most don't know how bad it is in their own neighborhood.

Carly Buckley is the case manager for Life Line Domestic Violence Shelter in Horry County.

"South Carolina is number two for domestic violence. And Horry County is number one out of the state. So that is a huge, huge deal. And we are the only domestic violence shelter in Horry county," Buckley said.

The shelter has a max capacity of 21 people. Around 18 to 19 women and children usually stay throughout each month. All of them are displaced from their homes, because being in the shelter is a better option than staying in a violent or potentially violent environment.

"There are some that we have seen women come in here and they were in really bad shape," Buckley says.

She sees it every day. Now that the Ray Rice abuse case is in the headlines of national news, people are finding it easier to talk about domestic violence. The shelter has been getting more calls from women fearing for their safety.

In the Rice case, the victim and now-wife stayed by his side, which could have a negative effect on other women in the same situation.

"I think that it hurts all the women who are being abused when she stands up and says, 'It wasn't a big deal', then I think it hurts their ability to walk away," says Kathy Jenkins, the Executive Director of New Directions of Horry County, Inc.

New Directions operates Life Line. Buckley says it normally takes seven to 11 acts of violence for a victim to finally break away from an abuser. It usually all starts with verbal abuse.
She says it's important to know that reaching out with even just a phone call could make all the difference.

"Just reaching out could save your life or the life of your children," she expressed.

If you need help, call 843.232.7055. The 24-hour domestic violence hotline is always available.

Here are other organizations across the Pee Dee and Grand Strand that fight domestic violence:

Georgetown County

Citizens Against Spouse Abuse
P.O. Box 912
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
Hotline 843-448-6206
Phone 843-293-2270

Williamsburg County

Pee Dee Coalition
P.O. Box 1351
Florence, SC 29503
Hotline 800-273-1820
Phone 843-354-6481

Marlboro County

Pee Dee Coalition
P.O. Box 1351
Florence, SC 29503
Hotline 800-273-1820
Phone 843-479-0882

Marion County

Pee Dee Coalition
P.O. Box 1351
Florence, SC 29503
Hotline 800-273-1820
Phone 843-423-6568

Florence County

Pee Dee Coalition
P.O. Box 1351
Florence, SC 29503
Hotline 800-273-1820
Phone 843-669-4694

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