Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Domestic violence and sexual assault remain a problem in the Palmetto State. The Office of the Attorney General has designed two programs to drastically reduce the incidences of these pervasive crimes: the S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women Program and the Pro Bono Program. Please click on the programs’ related links for more information.
The Federal Violence Against Women Act (1994) was the first national legislation to specifically target domestic violence (DV) and other abusive behaviors toward women. Through the Violence Against Women Act, a grant was established in the Department of Justice.
The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General established the S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women program in 1996 with monies the VAWA grant provided. Within the program there are two special prosecutors, a program coordinator and a program assistant.
The goals of the S.T.O.P program are twofold. One goal is to prosecute domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The other is to train law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and victim advocates throughout the state about the causes, consequences and laws pertaining to domestic violence and sexual assault. Employees of the program regularly give speeches at other trainings or seminars in the state, as well.
In addition, the Office hosts an annual Silent Witness ceremony to remember the DV homicide victims from the preceding year. It is important that South Carolina and the nation understand what a significant problem domestic violence is to our communities.
Finally, the S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women program acts as a clearinghouse for DV statistics. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division graciously provides this office with data necessary to bring to the attention of the public the growing need for strong action against domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelters and Organizations
- Speaker Request Form
- 2014 Criminal Domestic Violence Protocol
- 2015 Sexual Assault Protocol
Join the Office of the Attorney General for a free, one-day training on criminal domestic violence and sexual assault and related topics. Trainings are geared for law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and victim advocates. All trainings are approved for CLE, JCLE, CLEE, and OVSEC hours.
Currently South Carolina ranks first in the nation for the amount of homicides caused by domestic violence. Each year in October, the Attorney General hosts a Silent Witness ceremony to honor the victims from the preceding year. During this ceremony, wooden silhouettes represent the women and men who have died due to domestic violence in South Carolina during the previous year. Attorney General Alan Wilson will read the name of each victim and the circumstances of their death. As each name is read, volunteers or family members of the victim carry the silhouette and take a place on the State House steps. The event is open to the public. For more information about Silent Witness, or to find out how you can be a volunteer, please contact the Violence Against Women Department at (803) 734-3717.
The Poster Project
One of the goals of the S.T.O.P Violence Against Women program is to raise awareness about resources for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Our office works to achieve this goal by providing free posters to businesses, schools, police, counselors, hospitals, and other professionals. These posters have tear off cards that provide women with information about where they can go to seek help. To view the posters, click here. To request these posters for your business or organization, please email our office.
S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women and Pro Bono Program