PRESS STATEMENT - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS MORE THAN A "DOMESTIC INCIDENT"
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2012
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS MORE THAN A "DOMESTIC INCIDENT": RECENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES HIGHLIGHT NEED TO TAKE THIS CRIME SERIOUSLY
This week, the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) is saddened by the shooting deaths of two women in South Carolina, both at the hands of a husband or boyfriend. On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 48-year-old Merlene Nesmith Martin was shot and killed by Christopher White on the side of a road near Andrews. White then killed himself. And, on Thursday, May 17, Lynn Carlisle was killed, apparently by her former husband, Craig Jarvis in Aiken. Jarvis was then shot during a firefight with Aiken Public Safety, and died in surgery on Thursday afternoon.
We were also saddened to see reports depicting these as "domestic incidents." Pamela Jacobs, Executive Director, SCCADVASA said, "Tragically, domestic violence homicide is not uncommon in South Carolina. Our state is 7th in the nation for the number of women killed by men. However, when we refer to situations such as these as 'domestic incidents,' we downplay the serious and too frequently deadly nature of domestic violence."
SCCADVASA stresses the importance of treating domestic violence for what it is, a crime of violence. It is critical that we hold abusers accountable for their violence, before it reaches a deadly level. And it's critical that we offer support and help to victims. Member programs of SCCADVASA offer local domestic violence services throughout the state, from individual advocacy or support groups to emergency shelter. Victims, family, and friends can call these programs with questions, requests for support, or help with safety planning.
Pamela Jacobs added, “We offer our condolences to the families of Lynn Carlisle and Merlene Martin, and are sorry to see two more South Carolina women killed by domestic violence perpetrators. We also offer our condolences to the families of Christopher White and Craig Jarvis. We look forward to a day when domestic violence is taken seriously, when abusers are held accountable for their actions, and when every woman, child, and man is safe in her or his own home."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can connect you with advocacy services in your area: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). For more information about domestic violence, contact SCCADVASA at (803) 256-2900 or visit us online at http://sccadvasa.org.