Protect Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Sexual and domestic violence are pervasive and must end. In fact, violence against women and children affects everyone in South Carolina in some way. We are ranked 7th in the nation for the number of women murdered by men.  And sexual assault programs in South Carolina served more than 5,000 victims of sexual violence in just one year--over half of which were children.

In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was a giant step forward for our nation. Its passage meant that our federal government finally acknowledged that domestic and sexual violence cause tremendous harm, and put resources into helping victims. Millions of families are better off as a result.

The time has come to again reauthorize this critical legislation. Evidence shows that VAWA is working. Over the last 15 years, domestic and sexual violence have declined. But there is more work to do. On average, each day current and former boyfriends and husbands murder three women in America and several hundred people are raped or sexually assaulted. Countless children witness this violence. The Violence Against Women Act of 2011 will build on efforts to prevent violence before it begins and teach the next generation that violence is always wrong.

We need more resources for children and youth who have been exposed to violence, and to engage men as allies in this work. Congress must reauthorize this legislation and invest more in building healthy and safe communities.   

Sub-Title: 
Reauthorize VAWA

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), formerly named Rape Crisis Network, is a private, nonprofit, United Way member agency committed to providing free, direct services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, individual and group counseling, and education about sexual trauma issues.