HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Representatives with the Family Justice Center presented the Horry County Public Safety Committee with plans for a new shelter and talked about why the county is lacking when it comes to keeping families safe in domestic violence situations.
Although Horry County ranks at the top for domestic violence, the county doesn't have a shelter to help victims.
Most Horry County victims find help at the Family Justice Center in Georgetown County. At Thursday's meeting, center officials asked for Horry County's support and help to find the money and resources to open a 24-bed shelter within the next two years.
Councilman Al Allen, who heads Horry County's public safety committee, said the governing body will have to look at private and public partnerships to make it happen, as well as find money inside of the budget.
They will also need people to keep the future shelter running.
"We start shaking the bushes, we look everywhere and encourage everyone that has an interest in this and outside," Allen said. "Public, private will work, I think, in the long run and stuff, because if we help this out and curb these actions, it's going to help everybody."
The committee was highly supportive. The center's director said a formal request for annual funding will be their next step.
Curbing domestic violence in not just Horry County, but South Carolina as a whole, has been a topic of discussion for years.
Currently, South Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for the number of women murdered by men, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center.
The VPC uses 2015 FBI data, the most recent year statistics were available, for its study. It shows 46 women were murdered by men in South Carolina in 2015 in single victim/single offender incidents.
The homicide rate per 100,000 females in South Carolina in 2015 was 1.83, according to the study. The four states whose rate is higher are Alaska, Nevada, Louisiana and Tennessee.