Domestic violence survivor explains how she broke away - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Domestic violence survivor explains how she broke away

According to the Attorney General’s Office, 68 percent of those victims were murdered by a husband, partner, common law husband, ex, or boyfriend. One survivor, named Kandice Moore, refused to be a part of that statistic. (Source: WMBF News) According to the Attorney General’s Office, 68 percent of those victims were murdered by a husband, partner, common law husband, ex, or boyfriend. One survivor, named Kandice Moore, refused to be a part of that statistic. (Source: WMBF News)
To protect herself and her five daughters, Moore said she knew she needed to leave, so she started planning her way out. (Source: WMBF News) To protect herself and her five daughters, Moore said she knew she needed to leave, so she started planning her way out. (Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The state-wide task force designed to combat Criminal Domestic Violence is making a local impact on law enforcement. Governor Nikki Haley created the task force in January 2015.

According to Lt. Sherri Smith with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, one example of a change coming from the task force involves how officers document reports of domestic violence. Smith explained when a victim calls 911 in the heat of the moment, she sometimes gets scared when officers arrive and feels intimidated by her abuser. Many times, victims worry what the ramifications might be later if she files a report, so she chooses not to.

In the past, if a victim told officers she didn’t want a report, officers could not file one. Now, as a result of decisions made by the task force, every officer must write a report on any call for domestic violence, and officers must document if there are children involved on the report, too.

"It's just to identify it,” said Lt. Smith. “And to make sure that we're not letting anyone slip through the cracks. We want to make sure that if they need help, we're going to get them the help that they need."

Another change involves officer training. It has always been a requirement for all law enforcement officials to attend annual training on criminal domestic violence. Now, the Criminal Justice Department requires training twice a year.

The task force recently released pamphlets with information and resources for victims of domestic violence. And the information is catered to what part of the state you live in. You can find those resources by clicking here.

South Carolina is ranked second in the nation when it comes to the rate of women killed by men. According to the Attorney General’s Office, 68 percent of those victims were murdered by a husband, partner, common law husband, ex, or boyfriend. One survivor, named Kandice Moore, refused to be a part of that statistic.

She explained she was being physically and emotionally abused for years by her husband. To protect herself and her five daughters, Moore said she knew she needed to leave, so she started planning her way out.

"I looked into a lawyer,” she said. “And the lawyer told me what steps I needed to take next to be able to make sure that my children were safe. And that I was safe. And I would be able to leave the state and remain safe."

Part of her plan was to make sure she had a bag prepared with all of her kids’ essentials and important documents. She wanted to be ready whenever the time was right. She also started building a financial cushion.

"I spent so many years not working, because he didn't want me to,” said Moore. “That was one of the ways he was keeping me home, was by holding the finances. So I found a way to work from home. I saved up my money. I saved up as much as I could for that one day when I would be able to get out and go."

Moore planned and saved for a year before making the break. It was July 2013 when she said her husband, in a drunken rage, hurt her and threatened her with a gun. Once he fell asleep, Moore packed her children up in the car and drove off. She knew from her research earlier that she needed to file a police report and file for an order of protection, which she did. Moore said it took deputies in Kershaw County eleven days to arrest her husband. Three years later, and he is still awaiting a jury trial.

Moore has been in the Grand Strand since 2013. She said it was difficult to know where to begin the process of starting over on her own and providing for her kids. But she would rather rely on the security she provides for herself than feeling insecure at the hands of someone else.

“It’s difficult making those tough decisions,” said Moore. “I still have some sleepless nights worrying about finances. But as long as I know my kids are safe and that I’m going to be alive the next day, it’s like I’m Super Woman! I can do anything! I want other women to know they can too!”

Since becoming independent, Moore has graduated with her bachelor’s degree and is working on her master's. She also started to sing again, and got a job as a performer at GTS Theater. She said despite the fear of no longer having a provider, breaking free is the most empowering move any victim can make.

"Whoever your abuser is, you could die tomorrow at their hands,” reiterated Moore. “And how safe are you then? You know, how much does that money mean to you then? How much does that security mean to you then? I want to let women know that it's possible. That no matter how dark or impossible it seems to get out of where you are, there's a way out. And it's so much better on the other side."

Moore also writes for her blog and wants to provide support to any women looking to break free from an abusive situation. You can reach out to her by going to http://raisinemreal.com/

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly