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Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act section is a Department of Justice grant-funded program created as a byproduct of the Federal Violence Against Women Act (1994). With federal aid, the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General (SCAG) established the S.T.O.P Violence Against Women program in 1996 to combat the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking and harassment in South Carolina.

The Violence Against Women Act Program (VAWA) has two main focuses:

  • Prosecuting VAWA-related crimes
  • Training law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and victim advocates on the causes, consequences, intersectionalities, and laws related to domestic violence & sexual assault crimes

To meet the goals of the program, a director, a special prosecutor, program coordinator, and program assistant collaborate to implement the statewide program.



Each training is catered to law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, victim advocates and other victim services providers. All VAWA trainings are approved for 6 CLE, JCLE, CLEE and VSP hours

  • 2023 VAWA Virtual Training Session, December 7, 2023
    Domestic Violence, Support Services for Survivors:A virtual accredited course for  law enforcement,  judges, prosecutors, and victim advocates. Click here for sign up link.

    12.7.23 TRAINING FLYER
  • 2023 VAWA Virtual Training Session, October 30, 2023
    Domestic Violence, Support Services for Survivors:A virtual accredited course for  law enforcement,  judges, prosecutors, and victim advocates.

    10.30.23 TRAINING FLYER
  • 2023 VAWA Virtual Training Session, September 13, 2023
    Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Harassment: A virtual accredited course for legal professionals — judges, 
prosecutors, and other court professionals. Click here for sign up link.

    9.13.23 TRAINING FLYER

Sign up to receive VAWA training updates by email

Past Trainings

2022 Trainings

2021 Webinar Recordings

  • May 26: Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.
  • May 27: Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.
  • May 28: Register and view this recorded webinar here. Continuing education credits will be submitted at the end of each month for each completed webinar.

VAWA Training Flyer

VAWA Webinar FAQ

Silent Witness Ceremony

Each year on the first Tuesday in October, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office hosts a Silent Witness ceremony to honor the victims of domestic violence. During this ceremony, wooden silhouettes represent the women and men who have died due to domestic violence in South Carolina during the preceding 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, please contact the Violence Against Women Department at (803) 734-3745.


Register to Volunteer


South Carolina Domestic Violence Legislation

Domestic Violence (S.C. Code § 16-25-20

  • 1st  Degree (S.C. Code § 16-25-20(A)
  • 2nd Degree (S.C. Code § 16-25-20(B)
  • 3rd Degree (S.C. Code § 16-25-20(C)

Teen Dating Violence

  • Teen dating violence is the physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship (National Institute of Justice)

Criminal Sexual Conduct (SC Code § 16-3-651)

  • 1st Degree (SC Code § 16-3-652)
  • 2nd Degree (SC Code § 16-3-653)
  • 3rd Degree (SC Code § 16-3-654)

Spousal Sexual Battery (SC Code § 16-3-615)

  • 1st Degree Criminal Sexual with a Minor (SC Code § 16-3-655(a))
  • 2ndDegree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor (SC Code § 16-3-655(b))
  • 3rd  Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor (SC Code § 16-3-655(c))

Human Trafficking

  • Use of force, fraud, or coercion to engage an individual in commercial sex or forced labor.


  • 1st Degree (SC Code § 16-3-1700(A)
  • 2nd Degree (SC Code § 16-3-1700(B)


  • 2nd Degree (SC Code § 16-3-1700(C)


It is vital that the public understands the significant problem domestic violence poses to our communities. 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.

2023 Silent Witness Story | 2023 Annual Report | 2023 Infographic

2022 Silent Witness Story | 2022 Annual Report

|2022 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Newsletter

2021 Silent Witness Story | 2021 Annual Report | 2021 Infographic

2020 Silent Witness Story2020 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

Violence Policy Center “When Men Murder Women” Report

In 2015, the domestic violence laws in South Carolina were changed to enact harsher punishment and penalties for perpetrators and provide greater protection for victims. Based on 2017 data (the most recent report), Washington’s Violence Policy Center ranked South Carolina fifth (5th) in the nation for the number of women killed by men. This was two years after the domestic violence laws changed. Our office is still diligently educating those in the criminal justice system on the new laws and changing prevalent perceptions of this crime. 

2022 VPC Report

2020 VPC Report

2019 VPC 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 request these posters for your business or organization, please email our office

Domestic Violence Coordinating Councils (DVCCs)

Through public and private collaboration, each circuit solicitor is responsible for the development of community domestic violence coordinating councils (DVCC). The purpose of the council is to:

  • Increase the awareness and understanding of domestic violence
  • Reduce the incidence of domestic violence in each respective area
  • Enhance and ensure the safety of battered individuals and their children

DVCC Chair Contact Information





Erinn McGuire


Pat Warner


Donna Smith


Mary Ann Stroup


Nikki Vega Gugel


Chelsea Glover


Chris Whitaker


Alex Lyles


Amanda Wiley


Jenny Desch

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs)

Sexual assault response teams are developed throughout the state to address the prevalence and response of sexual assault in each county.

SART Chair Contact Information


SART Coordinator Name


Aiken, Barnwell, Allendale, Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick April Jordan
Anderson Jackie Garcia, Bebe Porpilia
Bamberg/Calhoun/Orangeburg Sharolyn Carter
Tri-County (Charleston/Berkley/Dorchester) Bradley Burris
Tri-County (Charleston/Berkley/Dorchester) Melissa Carpse
Tri-County (Charleston/Berkley/Dorchester) Kelly Freshman
Cherokee Marlene Evans
Chester/Fairfield/Lancaster Quisha McGriff
Chesterfield None  
Colleton None  
Darlington None  
Dillon None  
Florence None  
Georgetown/Horry Julie Gregg & Rosa Perez
Greenville Shannon Lambert Jessica Herron
Kershaw Sheila Farrar
Laurens Elizabeth Wise
Low-Country (Jasper, Brufort, Hampton, Collenton, Beaufort) Sheila Roemeling
Marion None  
Marlboro None  
Oconee None  
MSART (Richland and Lexington Counties) Juana Saavedra  
Spartanburg Kendall Karpik
Union/York Kerby McKinnell
Williamsburg None  

Contact Us

Amanda Branham, VAWA Program Coordinator


Nov 17


Nov 17


Nov 17