Where The Candidates Stand

Where The Candidates Stand

 

 Where The Candidates Stand  

SCCADVASA is the statewide coalition of twenty-two member organizations providing direct services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Through our focus areas of policy advocacy, collaboration, education and prevention, SCCADVASA works to reach our vision of a South Carolina free of domestic and sexual violence. In 2017, we provided 907 technical assistance contacts and trained 9.497 people, increasing the capacity of our members, allied systems and communities to provide holistic and supportive services to survivors.

South Carolinians are affected by domestic and sexual violence daily. As a part of our effort to inform citizens across the state on key issues pertaining to violence, we reached out to candidates currently running for office to learn more about their positions on the prevention of intimate partner violence in our state. Our survey process involved direct-mail correspondence with candidates with a brief, three-part questionnaire for them to respond to respectively. 

As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, SCCADVASA does not engage in partisan political activities and does not endorse any candidate running for public office. The South Carolina Candidate Questionnaire was administered for educational purposes only. Provided below are the returned responses from candidates, presented unedited and in their entirety.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this questionnaire or any of the information presented below, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 803-256-2900 or email info@sccadvasa.org.  If you are interested in learning more about SCCADVASA, please visit our website at www.sccadvasa.org.  Thank you for your participation and review! 

Our Questions:

What would you do to create a statewide response to effectively address the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault beyond a criminal justice response?

How do you think the state can increase the focus on prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault?

Do you think any legislative change could positively impact South Carolina’s response to domestic violence and/or sexual assault? If so, what legislation would you introduce and/or support?


SC Statewide Election Ballot (2018) 

South Carolina's general election for these offices will be held on November 6, 2018.

Governor

Henry McMaster - Republican (Incumbent)

James Smith Jr - Democratic

On issues involving domestic violence:

South Carolina consistently ranks among the top five states in the country for number of women killed by men. As Governor of South Carolina, I would create an inter-agency (public/private/non-profit) task force to identify strategies that will be the most successful in preventing violence. A first step would be seeing that all degrees of domestic violence are tried by solicitors in circuit court. They would protect the confidentiality of domestic violence victims and advocates, as well as improve the storage and processing of rape kits. 

Furthermore, currently a girl can be married at any age in South Carolina so long as she's pregnant. Often, the father is much older and nothing more than a rapist. SC law allows him to cloak his crime by marrying the child he impregnated. Mandy Powers Norrell, my running mate for Lt. Governor, introduced a bill to change that law, which unfortunately did not get a hearing. As Lt. Governor, she will continue to push to end this injustice. 

Lieutenant Governor

Pamela Evette - Republican
Mandy Powers Norrell - Democratic

Attorney General

Alan McCrory Wilson

What would you do to create a statewide response to effectively address the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault beyond the criminal justice system?

The Attorney General’s Office has continued the honoring and remembrance of victims of Domestic Violence through the annual “Silent Witness” program held in October to recognize national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This program gathers statewide statistics from law enforcement, non-profits, the public and the courts to emphasize the number of senseless deaths due to domestic violence and to increase the public’s awareness of these tragic events. I have lauded initiatives to expand the statewide response to domestic violence beyond the criminal justice arena and especially supported mandated policy for all state agencies to design an internal education model to recognize domestic violence in the workplace and to respond appropriately with safety plans for individual state employees. Engaging neighbors, employers, other family members in learning to recognize domestic violence is essential in identifying and reaching out to helpless victims. Therefore, I am committed to partnerships  that will enable retailers, restaurants, doctors’ offices, hair dressers, nail salons and other public businesses to produce and furnish informational posters, cards, etc. to the public about domestic violence and how to recognize it, how to help victims;  and how to seek safety.

How do you think the state can increase the focus on prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault?

I would use the bully pulpit of the Attorney General’s office to advocate for educational initiatives that could be deployed within our school system. The criminal justice system is more reactionary to the problem of domestic violence and sexual assault (investigation, prosecution, incarceration, diversion treatment programs etc.). Programs that promote education and awareness are more proactive because they are things we can do before a crime occurs. For instance, the attorney general and superintendent of education should work to develop age appropriate curriculum that can be utilized in the school system to raise awareness of children who are either victims of these crimes or first-hand eyewitnesses to these crimes. Often the children who are victims or witnesses of crimes become callous to this behavior. This normalizes the behavior and their notions of what is and is not appropriate conduct is not challenged until later in life. There should be an educational task force to tackle this problem

Do you think any legislative change could positively impact South Carolina’s response to domestic violence and/or sexual assault? If so, what legislation would you introduce and/or support?

The office of attorney general can be used by organizations such as SCCADVASA to promote pro-victim/survivor legislation and policies. For the last 8 years I have championed laws and causes that were heavily supported by these organizations (Human Trafficking Act, Domestic Violence Reform, creation of the Crime Victims Service Division of the Attorney General’s Office etc.)  I intend to maintain that position and will continue to stand 100% behind SCCADVASA’s efforts to serve and protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

I also believe that we need to change the way that we elect judges. Our system for electing judges has zero input from the executive branch of government (I.e.: Governor and/or Attorney General). The public can hold a one governor accountable for judges who ignore the law better than they can hold accountable 170 individual legislators.

Here are examples of other pieces of legislation that should be considered by the General Assembly (this is not exhaustive):

  • Support efforts to include dating violence protections under the domestic violence law.
  • Support the requirement that schools and universities continue teaching about healthy relationships.
  • Support expansion of the  domestic violence task force at the state level to include meeting on  a statewide level (i.e: similar to the human trafficking task force)
  • Allow family court judges in divorce cases to include Orders of Protection in the decree that are recorded in NCIC
  • Require all law enforcement to use a standard lethality instrument in assessing danger to a victim

Constance Anastopoulo

What would you do to create a statewide response to effectively address the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault beyond the criminal justice system?

There are 46 counties in S.C. and only 23 domestic violence shelters.  (We have over 100 animal shelters however)  I will work with our legislature to fund a shelter in every county.  I think there is a direct correlation between a lack of a safe place to go and the high rate of partner violence.

How do you think the state can increase the focus on prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault?

I think we need to raise the focus on 1) Lack of county shelters, raising the voices of survivors and advocate for social change.  Partner violence is an issue that affects every socio-economic class and every race.

Do you think any legislative change could positively impact South Carolina’s response to domestic violence and/or sexual assault? If so, what legislation would you introduce and/or support?

As Attorney General I cannot “make” law however I would support funding of county shelters, funding of resources to assist survivors, increased campus protections, enforcement of existing laws including preventing abusers from access to firearms. S.C. consistently ranks in the top ten states in the rate of women killed by men.  We need systemic change. Having served on the Board of My Sister’s House in Chas. Co., I know firsthand how survivors need a safe place to go, services to help them and their children get out of dangerous situations, and support from the community. 


Secretary of State

 

Mark Hammond - Republican (Incumbent)
Melvin T. Whittenburg - Democratic

Treasurer

Curtis Loftis - Republican (Incumbent)
Rosalyn L. Glenn - Democratic, Working Families
Sarah Work - American 

Comptroller General

Richard Eckstrom - Republican (Incumbent)