Georgetown County Leaders push to end domestic violence - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Georgetown County Leaders push to end domestic violence

GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) - Domestic Violence Awareness month may be ending, but the issue isn't, it's killing people across South Carolina, more than anywhere else in the nation.

Law enforcement, the Family Justice Center, counselors, the solicitor, and many other organizations all work tirelessly in Georgetown County to bring an end to domestic violence. Those advocates held a ceremony Friday in their crusade against the problem plaguing the Palmetto State.

At the ceremony a rose was in place for each victim in Georgetown County whose life was taken by domestic violence, and another rose was in place for the unknown.

Gwendolyn Reed read the names of each victim but also asked the audience to remember her sister's name, Ebony.

"On September 14th, 2013 my sister was murdered in Conway,” she said.

Ebony was a victim of domestic violence.

"If you are living domestic violence or you are going through, tell somebody,” Reed said “You may tell one person who can help you live, don't stay a minute too late and become Ebony Parson and become my sister."

Today, Gwendolyn is keeping her sister's spirit alive, to save other lives with it.

She read the poem by  Kimberly A. Collins, “Remember My Name,” in her sister's honor.

"My sister would say, just as the poem said, remember my name, my story must be told, so my daughters, your daughters, will not follow my pathway," Reed said. “It is going to be a joint effort that we are Ebony's hope."

Reed stressed the importance of not another woman, man or child falling victim without knowing the resources available to them, which is exactly what Georgetown County Domestic Violence Advocates are pushing to do.

"We want to come in and we want to remember those lives that we have lost to domestic violence but we also wanna recommit ourselves to the struggle of eradicating domestic violence so there will be a future so we don't have to add names to this list,” Richardson said.

Everyone involved said it's going to take help from the community to make a difference.

"If you see, think that there is domestic violence, report it, you don't have to intervene, but report it. I'd rather you report it and be wrong than you not report it and we lose a life,” Reed said.

"Based on the 61 deaths that occurred in 2013, that translates to more than once a week a woman is killed by an intimate partner,” Family Justice Center Co-Executive Director Vicki Bourus said. "All 61 women in South Carolina who were killed in 2013, had recently left their abuser."

Which is why Bourus is working to find more safe places for women to go. She said she has been meeting with leaders in Myrtle Beach, from the mayor to the housing authority, sending out feelers to try and get a center within Horry County, since the closest shelter is in Georgetown.

Funding, office space, volunteers, donations are all needed, to make this happen. If you want to help or have an idea of how you can help call the Family Justice Center (843) 546-3926.

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