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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.

Initiatives

Trainings

In response to COVID-19 and social distancing, the 2021 Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Harassment Training hosted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will be offered in a hybrid format.  The May and June series of the training will be hosted online as a three-day series with two-hour presentations each day. The August and November trainings will be six (6) hour trainings hosted at their respective locations.

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

Sign up to receive VAWA training updates by email

Past Trainings

May 2021 Webinar Recordings

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

Resources

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.

Harassment

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

Stalking

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

Reports

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.

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. 

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

County

Contact

Email

Beaufort

Erinn McGuire

emcguire@scsolicitor14.org

Charleston

Pat Warner

patwarnerkurent@gmail.com

Greenville

Donna Smith

dosmith@greenvillecounty.org

Greenwood

Mary Ann Stroup

mstroup@greenwoodsc.gov

Lexington

Nikki Vega Gugel

nvega@lex-co.com

Orangeburg

Chelsea Glover

cglover@scsolicitor1.org

Richland

Chris Whitaker

cwhitaker@scyap.com

Spartanburg

Alex Lyles

alyles@spartanburgcounty.org

Sumter

Amanda Wiley

awiley@sumtersc.gov

York

Jenny Desch

jenny.desch@yorkcounty.gov

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

County

Contact Person

Email

Aiken, Barnwell, Allendale, Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick

Elizabeth Lemacks and Jennifer Horner

elemacks@cumbeecenter.org and jhorner@hope-health.org 

Anderson

Amanda Cooper

Amanda.Cooper@foothillsalliance.org

Bamberg/Calhoun/Orangeburg

Pamela Rowley

prowley@casafamilysystems.com

Beaufort

CJ Akins; Kelly Mason

akinsc@hopefulhorizons.org; masonk@hopefulhorizons.org

Charleston/Berkley/Dorchester

Daniel Oesterle

prevention@peopleagainstrape.org, oesterle@musc.edu

Cherokee

Marlene Evans

marlene.evans@shrcc.org

Chester

None

 

Chesterfield

None

 

Clarendon/Sumter

Katie Gibson

catherineg@stsm.org

Colleton

None

 

Darlington

None

 

Dillon

None

 

Fairfield

None

 

Florence

None

jharvey@durantchildren.org

Greenville

Jameka Nedwards

jnedwards@julievalentinecenter.org

Greenwood

Elizabeth Wise

ewise@beyondabuse.info

Hampton

None

 

Horry & Georgetown

Kathy Andrews

Kathy@victimtosurvivor.org 

Jasper

None

 

Kershaw

Angelica Collins

acollins@thefamilyresourcecenter.org

Lancaster

None

 

Laurens

Elizabeth Wise

ewise@beyondabuse.info

Marion

None

 

Marlboro

None

 

Newberry

Eva Maron

Acn@stsm.org

Oconee

None

 

Pickens

Lindsey Walls

lindsey.walls@pcadvocacy.org

Midlands (Richland &Lexington)

Jo Sperry, Candace Collins

SPERRYJ@mailbox.sc.edu, COLLIN32@mailbox.sc.edu,

Spartanburg

Marlene Evans

marlene.evans@shrcc.org

Union

Suze Joseph

sjoseph@safepassagesc.org

Williamsburg

None

 

York

Joan Harris

jharris@safepassagesc.org

Contact Us

Email: vawaevents@scag.gov
Phone: 803-734-3717