Group rallies to honor 41 people killed in S.C. in 2018 from domestic violence

Published: Oct. 27, 2019 at 12:39 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Forty-one pictures showing the 41 victims of domestic violence in 2018 in South Carolina are being displayed with the hope of helping others.

Each of the 41 stories was written differently. There’s the story of Samantha Cox, a 27-year-old from Horry County who police believe was shot and killed by her husband before he killed himself on May 2, 2018.

In William and Savannah Lawrimore’s story, police said the wife and mother of their 5-year-old shot and killed them both and then turned the gun on herself on July 13, 2018.

The stories go on and on, but ultimately they all end the same. This was the same way Ebonoy Spann-Parson’s story ended in 2013. Then, another story began.

“Ebony Spann is the reason behind Ebony’s Hope,” said Gwen Reed.

Reed founded Ebony’s Hope after her sister was shot and killed at a bingo hall in Conway in 2013 by her estranged boyfriend. Police said he came in with a shotgun and killed her and himself.

Now, Reed’s working with state and local officials to ensure other stories don’t end the way her sister’s story did.

“As a culture, we need to reject violence in any form and be serious about that rejection and not tolerate those that are violent," said South Carolina Sen. Greg Hembree.

Of the 41 photos shown at that Sixth Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Rally hosted by Ebony’s Hope,11 were of men. This shows the largest number of men killed as a result of domestic violence in South Carolina in a year’s time.

“There are no barriers as to who can be harmed when it comes to domestic violence,” said Alicia Rahiem, domestic violence coordinator for Project USA.

A report by the State Domestic Violence Advisory Committee said South Carolina ranks as the nation’s sixth-worst state among rates of women murdered by men. The report adds the state’s domestic violence homicide rate is more than 1.5 times the national average.

“We still have this huge problem. So when you can bring awareness to it and call it for what it is and refuse to accept it, that’s when it’s really going to change,” Hembree said.

“We the people of Horry, Georgetown, the 15th Circuit can lower this number by educating people about domestic violence. This can’t go on. There’s no hope in death. That’s the only time we’re hopeless is when we’re dead,” said Reed.

For more information on domestic violence services in the area and where you or someone you know can find help, click on the following links:

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