Ceremony Held During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 25th annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today at the South Carolina State Capitol Complex in Columbia.
During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of thirty-seven (37) women and twelve (12) men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year.
Family members carried a life-sized silhouette representing victims to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim. An additional fiftieth (50) silhouette represented the potential unknown victims.
“This is a sad and solemn occasion to commemorate the lives that were lost in the past year to domestic violence,” said Wilson.
“In this year’s Violence Policy Center report, South Carolina (based on 2020 data) ranked 23rd in the nation in the rate of men killing women. This is the second time in two decades that South Carolina has not been in the top 10 in their report, having ranked 11th in 2020.
“Domestic violence affects people from all walks of life and impacts our community individually and collectively across the lifespan. Now, more than ever, we must continue working toward violence-free communities to interrupt and end the cycle of abuse. We must strategically target our youth through comprehensive prevention education and continue to build out a coordinated network of stakeholders in our response strategy,” Attorney General Wilson said.
The Honorable Alan Wilson, Senator Katrina Shealy, religious leaders and other community members made special remarks to highlight the problem of violence against women.
A statistical breakdown for each county is available at http://www.scag.gov/criminal-domestic-violence-in-south-carolina.
2022 SILENT WITNESS VICTIMS FROM LAURENS COUNTY
Marlon Johnson – 65 years old, Laurens County
Sharde Swinger – 34 years old, Laurens County