HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A study by the Violence Policy Center shows South Carolina is ranked the fifth deadliest state for women murdered by men and this isn’t the first time the Palmetto State has been on the list.
“Years ago we were number one on that list,” 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.
The Violence Policy Center said in 2016, 1,800 women were murdered by a man across the country and in South Carolina, 48 women were killed by men.
From July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, there were 430 warrants for second-degree domestic violence consisting of things like spitting, hitting or taking a phone away from someone and being in front of a child.
And there were 96 warrants for first-degree domestic violence, incidents that involve the use of weapons or brutal beatings.
Richardson said the state has made changes since then, but even with the changes, he said it takes time.
“You expect the trend to be gradual, you wanna get better and we are getting better," he said. "It doesn’t surprise me to still be in the top 10.”
The study showed one of the leading weapons used to kill women are handguns and WMBF News asked Richardson what he sees most in Horry County.
“Usually it’s handguns, I have seen knives, stabbing cases,” he said.
Richardson also said that the victim usually knows the offender.
“The figures are generally based on girlfriend, boyfriend, live-ins, husband, wife, those sort of things," he said. "But not only with battery but with rape and a lot of the other crimes usually the perpetrator is someone the person knows.”
In Horry and Georgetown counties there are services provided through the Family Justice Center and victim’s advocates in the solicitor’s office.
The justice center offers free counseling to victims. Officials there said that this year they’ve seen an increase in the number of protection orders, signaling there are people leaving these situations and looking for help.
Anna Goldfinch, a victim’s advocate for the solicitor’s office, said the most common reason that victims go back to their abuser is because there is a lack of independence.
“They are in a situation to where they don’t think they can make it on their own," Goldfinch said. "They have no self-esteem or it’s low. They may not be working so they know if they stay with this person they will pay their bills.”
If you need help or know someone in a bad situation, you can go to the Family Justice Center, free of charge.