Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Harassment

Silent Witness Ceremony

Domestic violence and sexual assault remain a problem in the Palmetto State. The Office of the Attorney General has designed a program to drastically reduce the incidences of these pervasive crimes: the S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women 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.

Training Information

In response to COVID-19 and social distancing, the 2020 Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Harassment Training hosted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will be offered virtually. Instead of our hosting all-day trainings at four different locations, the trainings will be hosted online as a three-day series with two-hour presentations each day.  This training is catered to law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, victim advocates and other victim services providers. All three parts of this training are approved for CLE, JCLE, CLEE and OVSEC hours. You are not required to attend all three parts of the training, but if you would like to be eligible to earn all six (6) continuing education credit hours, you must separately register and actively participate in each session. You will receive a confirmation email detailing your registration for each individual session. If you do not receive a confirmation email, then you are not registered for the training session and will not be able to access the training.

VAWA Training Flyer

VAWA Webinar FAQ

Part One

Thursday, May 28th

10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Legal Overview
Megan Raymer
South Carolina Attorney General’s Office

Session Description:

Part One will be led by Assistant Attorney General Megan Raymer from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. This two-hour session will provide a legal overview of Violence Against Women Act-related crimes, including domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, human trafficking, stalking and harassment.  Ms. Raymer will also discuss and answer questions related to restraining orders, orders of protection, and permanent restraining orders in South Carolina.

Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.

Register

Part Two

Friday, May 29th

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
State and Federal Firearm Prohibition
Justin Holloway
United States Attorney’s Office

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Domestic Violence Case Study Analysis
Heather Weiss
South Carolina Attorney General’s Office

Session Description:

Part Two will include two (2) one-hour sessions. Session one will be led by Assistant Attorney Justin Holloway from the United States Attorney’s Office. Session two will be co-led by Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Prosecution, Special Victims Division, Heather Weiss, and Assistant Attorney General Megan Raymer from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Session one will provide a detailed overview of state and federal firearm statutes and prohibitions related to domestic violence. This session will also discuss the prevalence of domestic violence and gun-related homicides while providing general advice for law enforcement when investigating domestic violence cases, tools at law enforcement’s disposal, and law enforcement’s authority to seize firearms.

Session two will present a legal analysis of a domestic violence case study focused on collecting and preserving evidence for trial, identifying and protecting child victims/witnesses of domestic violence, and techniques for utilizing expert witnesses, reluctant witnesses, and unwilling witnesses for trial.

Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.

Register

Part Three

Monday, June 1st

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Early Trauma’s Long Reach: Implications for Victimization and a System of Coordinated Survivor Care
Patrice Penney

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
The Intersection and Substance Abuse and Violence
Jess Parrot
Keystone Substance Abuse Services

Session Description:

Part Three will include two (2) one-hour sessions led by USC Assistant Professor Patrice Penney and Residential Clinical Counselor Jess Parrot.

Session One will interpret the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study which confirms the impact of early trauma on negative outcomes for youth and adults. Patrice Penney believes that understanding these complex development pathways requires our attention because it has direct implications for victimization, encounters with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, recidivism, and delivery of effective services at all levels with one goal in mind—preventing and reducing violence. This training will help diverse systems respond more effectively to victims of violence.

Session Two will discuss and interpret the prevalence, trends and facts surrounding substance abuse and their intersection with domestic violence. This session will connect service providers/responders to resources and treatment services locally and statewide.

Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.


Sign up to receive future VAWA training dates and updates by email.

Silent Witness

Currently South Carolina ranks sixth 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) 734-3745.

Silent Witness Ceremony
October 6, 2020

Volunteer Registration Form

2020 Silent Witness Story | 2020 Annual Report | 2020 Infographic

2019 Silent Witness Story | 2019 Annual Report

2018 Silent Witness Story | 2018 Annual Report

2017 Silent Witness Story | 2017 Annual Report

2015 Silent Witness Story | 2015 Annual Report

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. To view the posters, click here. To request these posters for your business or organization, please email our office.

Contact Information

S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women
803-734-3717

 

 

Schedule a Tour or Visit

Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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