Some questions will never be answered and some problems will never be solved, but if we as a state work together, domestic violence can be eliminated. Domestic Violence is something I will never understand. How can we stop or even cut down on Domestic Violence in South Carolina? I know domestic violence is a widespread problem that occurs every day. But I feel we should start on a state level, moving towards a national level, and ending on a global level, until it is eradicated. In order for that to happen everybody must be willing to help.
The South Carolina State paper ran an article stating that South Carolina ranked #1 in the nation for males murdering females. The State paper stated that according to the (Violence Policy Center) in Washington: “The state’s rates of females murdered by males are 2.54 per 100,000 was more than double the national average.”(The State Paper, Para 1. 09/13)
The perpetrators who commit these crimes need to find ways to deal with their problems instead of taking it out on other people. There are so many places that people can go to for counseling and help if they feel they can’t do it on their own. There are different groups and organizations that people can go to for help as well. The South Carolina against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault group has been in operation since 1981. This group works with the community to make people aware of issues, problems, policy and legislations regarding domestic violence and sexual assault.
Domestic violence has been occurring for centuries, sad but very true. Domestic violence has been traced back to as early as 735 B.C., in Rome. In Rome it was an accepted and condoned form of discipline for husbands to beat their under the Laws of Chastisement. In the 1500s old English common-law was what the settlers in America had been living by, that law allowed a husband to beat his wife. The husband was permitted to beat his wife with a rod or switch. The limitations imposed on the instruments that were used to punish were only that they should be no, greater than the base of a man’s thumb. Mississippi Supreme Court in 1824 allowed a husband to administer only moderate chastisement in cases of emergency, which was to be determined by the courts. In North Carolina around 1867 the courts acquitted a man for giving his wife three licks with a switch. The switch he used was smaller than his thumb and the court felt the dispute was a family matter, not something for the courts to decide.
Domestic violence was not really recognized until the 1960s. In the 1960s there were a lot of feminist movements, women’s rights groups, and individual women and community based advocacy groups that brought domestic violence awareness. These groups started opening people’s eyes to realize that beating a woman wasn’t right and they were ready to make a stand. By the mid 1970s, the medical community began to recognize domestic violence. They recognized domestic violence as a substantial medical and public health problem. That was a big step for everyone who had been dealing with or had gone through domestic violence in their life, and by the 90s domestic violence was recognized as legitimate concern the discipline of medical practice.
I did a few interviews with different people who live completely different lives. I had five questions that I asked everyone. The first question was: What does domestic violence mean to you? My next question was: Have you or someone you know suffered from domestic violence? My next question was: Do you think domestic violence is something that could ever end in South Carolina or the world? The next question was: what are some ways we can stop or lower domestic violence in South Carolina? My last question was: What type of people are affected by domestic violence?
Leeann said,” Domestic violence to me, is abuse or violence within the home. In most cases domestic violence occurs between two persons in a romantic relationship.” She also stated that she herself at one time was a victim of domestic violence and she knows many people who were affected by it one way or another. When I asked Leeann if she could ever see domestic violence ending in South Carolina or the world she said “Anything is possible, but I have my doubts. There are too many ongoing cases. Some people even hold it in, therefore no one knows about it, which prevents them from receiving help to stop the abuse.” Leeann thinks we should increase awareness and encourage victims to come forward. She also thinks we should educate people on how to see the signs of domestic violence. Leeann also stated “All types of people are affected by domestic violence, rich, poor, black, white, gay, and straight. There is no exception and in some types of people it may be more frequent, but nobody is exempt.”
In the other interviews I did, the answers were very similar to Leeann’s. Everyone agreed that the chances of domestic violence actually stopping are a wonderful dream, but sadly that may never happen. Many people don’t even think about the long term affects abuse has on the person that is being abused and also the people around them who are witnessing the abuse. Many times no one thinks about the children involved and what they are seeing as the violence is occurring. Some of these children grow up to be abuser themselves, or become a victim of abuse. We have to stop the abuse and start the healing somewhere, won’t you help me? Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first “Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women advocates across the nations who were working to end violence against women and their children.”(National Coalition against Domestic Violence, Para.1, 2005-2011)