The Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties runs a domestic violence shelter, but there are apparently no beds available in Myrtle Beach or Horry County.
Although more than 60% of their clients are from Horry County, they must travel to the Center’s safehouse in Georgetown County which can mean forcing the client to transfer their children to a new school and possibly losing their job.
They are looking for funding from government and local businesses to open a new shelter in Horry County. Shelters like the one that is run by the Family Justice Center are necessary, they need to be properly funded, and they are just one piece of a comprehensive solution for our state’s domestic violence problem.
Does South Carolina Have a Domestic Violence Problem?
Domestic violence happens every day, it tears families apart, and it leaves permanent emotional scars on everyone involved. There is no question it’s a problem and it must be addressed comprehensively.
For every person who is trapped in an abusive relationship and needs help to get out, however, there are many more whose lives are destroyed by false accusations and over-zealous law enforcement.
We cast a wide net in hopes of catching the worst abusers, saving lives, and repairing broken homes. But, every day, that net catches people who do not fit our image of an abusive spouse – CDV allegations often turn out to be:
- Neighbors calling the police because they heard arguing or yelling;
- A spouse who makes false allegations to gain an advantage in their divorce or custody case;
- A suspect who was defending themselves against the alleged victim who was the primary aggressor; or
- A police officer who made the arrest based on their agency’s unwritten policy of arresting someone each time a CDV call comes in…
Consider this: Our state’s police departments and solicitor’s offices receive funding that is earmarked for domestic violence enforcement and prosecution, and the number of arrests and prosecutions justifies the grants that they receive.
What is CDV in SC?
In South Carolina, criminal domestic violence can occur between two household members who:
- are married, or used to be married;
- live together, or used to live together; or
- have a child together.
SC’s definition of “household member” includes same-sex couples.
According to the law, the suspect must have harmed the alleged victim, threatened to cause immediate physical harm to the alleged victim, or intimidated the alleged victim in a way that a reasonable person would fear physical harm.
CDV in SC does not require that you actually strike a person or cause physical harm – threatening them is enough to be charged under SC’s CDV law, although it may be more difficult for the prosecutor to get a jury to convict the defendant.
Charged with CDV in Myrtle Beach or the Horry County Area?
If you are facing CDV charges in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, or Columbia areas, there may be many defenses available to get your CDV case dismissed or to win your case at trial.