For Release: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Washington, DC — Today, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that strengthens penalties for domestic abusers and sets new restrictions on gun possession for domestic violence offenders, including a lifetime gun ban for the most severe crimes. A major impetus for the legislation was the annual study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC), which has consistently ranked South Carolina in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men.
“This new law is a victory for South Carolina’s domestic violence prevention advocates who work tirelessly to protect women and families from domestic violence and prevent domestic abusers from having guns,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “South Carolina’s governor and legislators have taken an important step forward to help stop lethal violence against women, and it is our hope that other states will be encouraged to follow South Carolina’s lead.”
The VPC’s annual study, When Men Murder Women, is released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October. The most recent study, released in 2014, ranked South Carolina second in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. The state has ranked in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men for each of the past 17 years.
This year, the Post and Courier newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the paper’s 2014 investigative series on domestic violence, “Till Death Do Us Part,” which was spurred by South Carolina’s high ranking for the rate of women murdered by men.