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Domestic Violence Awareness Month is here! This year at SCCADVASA, our theme for DVAM is Safety and Justice. In the past we’ve focused on social media awareness campaigns, but we want to go beyond awareness and work toward bringing education and training to our community partners statewide.

We will be focusing on justice; economic, social, legal, etc. and how we can work together as a community to create safer systems. Our aim is to build the knowledge and capacity of community partners in order to provide trauma-informed care for our survivors when having to navigate these systems.

One of the most important things we believe we can do to support the work of our member organizations is by helping get the word out about events they have organized in their communities during October to bring awareness. Check out our calendar to see what's going on in your area!

Upcoming SCCADVASA Events:

DVAM Images for Social Media:

DVAM 2017 Poster - Safety and Justice
#scknowmore

 

 

 

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According to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) study When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data, South Carolina ranked fifth in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men, with a rate of 1.83 per 100,000. This annual study is released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is recognized in October.

This is the sixth year in a row that South Carolina has ranked in the top five states for women murdered by men and the rate has increased since last year's report of 1.73 per 100,000.
“South Carolina’s continued presence at, or near, the top of the list of the most dangerous states for women demonstrates how much work as a state we still have to do,” says Sara Barber, executive director of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

“We have changed laws but there are still struggles with consistently implementing them to increase victim safety. A long term change in our horrifying record will also need an increased emphasis on prevention education around healthy relationships. This should begin in schools and extend across all community settings, to stop this violence before it begins.”
The study uses 2015 data, the most recent year for which information is available. The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.

The study found that nationwide, 93 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and that the most common weapon used was a gun.

The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 20 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 29 percent — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.12 per 100,000 in 2015.

Below is the complete list of the states with the 10 highest rates of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2015:

Rank   State                           Homicide Rate, Females Murdered by Males
1          Alaska                         2.86 per 100,000
2          Nevada                       2.29 per 100,000
3          Louisiana                    2.22 per 100,000
4          Tennessee                  2.10 per 100,000
5          South Carolina           1.83 per 100,000
6          Arkansas                    1.78 per 100,000
7          Kansas                       1.65 per 100,000
8          Kentucky                    1.60 per 100,000
9          Texas                         1.54 per 100,000
10 (tie) New Mexico               1.52 per 100,000
10 (tie) Missouri                     1.52 per 100,000

For each of these states, the study offers a detailed summary including: the number of victims by age group and race; the most common weapons used; the victim to offender relationships; and the circumstances of the homicides.

Nationwide, 1,686 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2015, at a rate of 1.12 per 100,000. Of the 1,686 female homicide victims, 1,110 were white, 476 were black, 48 were Asian or Pacific Islander, 28 were American Indian or Alaskan Native, and in 24 cases the race of the victim was not identified.

Nine out of 10 victims knew their offenders.  Of the victims who knew their offenders, 64 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers. Fourteen times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.

Black women are disproportionately impacted by lethal domestic violence. In 2015, black females were murdered by men at a rate of 2.43 per 100,000, more than twice the rate of 0.96 per 100,000 for white women murdered by men.
Firearms — especially handguns — were the weapons most commonly used by males to murder females in 2015.

Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 55 percent of female victims were shot and killed with a gun. Of the homicides committed with guns, 69 percent were killed with handguns.

The overwhelming majority of these homicides were not related to any other felony crime, such as rape or robbery. Nationwide, for homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 84 percent of the homicides were not related to the commission of another felony. Most often, females were killed by males in the course of an argument between the victim and the offender.

The study calculates the rate of women murdered by men by dividing the total number of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents by the total female population and multiplying the result by 100,000. This is the standard and accepted method of comparing fatal levels of gun violence.

The study urges state legislators to adopt laws that enhance enforcement of federal legislation and ensure that guns are surrendered by or removed from the presence of abusers.


View Full Report

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SCCADVASA is a statewide coalition of organizations providing intervention services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault across the state. Our hope is for community in which prevention work is our focus—a commitment to prevent sexual and domestic violence from occurring in the first place—where we can center our work on the building of healthy relationship practices rather than the aftermath of violence. We believe that everyone has the right to live in a community where respect and trust form the core of relationships and fear has no place to thrive. It is from these core values, as victim advocates, that SCCADVASA opposes the implementation of 287(g) agreements.

287(g) agreements erode public trust. A number of studies conducted in areas where 287(g) are already in place show that officers and police chiefs alike experienced greater barriers to using community policing techniques.

In Davidson County, Tennessee, nearly two years after the implementation of their 287(g) program, researchers found that although Black residents were more likely to know the victim of a crime (49% of Blacks, 35% of Latinos), respondents of both races cited nearly the same level of discomfort (~40%) with law enforcement.  The cause and the result of that discomfort, however, were clear between the two groups. Latinos were far less likely to report a crime to the police. “42% [of Latinos] said that they knew of a crime that had not been reported to the police,” compared to just 4% of Black respondents, and, “when asked whether they would report a crime in the future, more than half (54%) of the respondents in the Latino community said they would choose not to call the police,” compared to 27% of Blacks.  Half of all Hispanic respondents cited “being ‘afraid,’” and one-third specifically mentioned “immigration issues” as a major reason they distrusted the police; not a single Black respondent cited either of these issues as reasons they might not call upon law enforcement for protection.  It is not unreasonable to draw a tie between these fears and the fact that 85% of Latinos knew “someone who had been deported after being arrested, compared to only 8% of Blacks.”

Immigrant communities already navigate reporting barriers, such as lack of shared language and differing views on gender roles. When compounded by fears of racial profiling and immigration scrutiny, even victims and witnesses with legal status are less likely to come forward.  Therefore, the fear that part of the community experiences—the possibility of being asked about immigration status—decreases victim reports, subjecting the larger community to greater risk of violent crimes.  
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the nation’s premier law enforcement association, has stated that “local police agencies depend on the cooperation of immigrants, legal and illegal, in solving all sorts of crimes and in the maintenance of public order. Without assurances that they will not be subject to an immigration investigation and possible deportation, many immigrants with critical information would not come forward, even when heinous crimes are committed against them or their families.”
287(g) agreements burden local law enforcement agencies without strengthening community safety. In Maricopa County, Arizona, the East Valley Tribune reported that demands for the Sheriff’s Department to respond to immigration concerns resulted in an inability to respond to life or death crisis calls; “two-thirds of patrol cars arrived late to the most serious calls for police assistance."  A delay of this magnitude puts all crime victims at higher risk of significant harm and even death.

Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are at particular risk of repeated victimization in areas where 287(g) agreements are in place.  Abusers often use the threat of deportation—whether legitimate or exaggerated—to discourage their victim from reporting the crime committed against them. Abusers use the perception that victims’ rights are secondary to immigration enforcement as a coercive tool to keep their victims submissive.

287(g) agreements create redundancy that undercut the campaign against violent crime. Since 2013, all local jurisdictions in South Carolina have been sharing biometric data of detained criminals with the FBI and DHS. When fingerprint checks demonstrate that an individual who has been arrested is illegally present in the United States, ICE is already enabled to detain and remove that individual.  However, without the public trust that stimulates a culture of reporting and cooperating with law enforcement, criminals are less likely to be arrested, and are more likely to continue perpetrating violence against our community members.
 
Examples like Maricopa County and Los Angeles County demonstrate that 287(g) agreements take valuable resources away from crime victims at the local level, and allow the federal government to escape their rightful responsibility to enforce immigration law. Studies of communities closer to home—including Davidson County, Tennessee and Gaston County, North Carolina—show that a single law enforcement entity cannot simultaneously ask for cooperation and threaten deportation. The implementation of a 287(g) agreement is likely to result in deportation of illegally present individuals; it’s true, but the vast majority of these individuals will be detained following traffic violations and misdemeanors.  Meanwhile, true violent criminals will continue to intimidate their victims into silence, and our community will become no safer. 287(g) agreements undermine our values of public trust and public safety.

SCCADVASA stands in support of community policing efforts that lead to victim trust and public safety. Crime victims’ confidence that coming forward will lead to safety should be prioritized above ineffective lip service to border enforcement. We strongly condemn the implementation of new 287(g) agreements, while living in hope of successful, victim-centered collaboration with law enforcement officers in Charleston, Horry, Lexington, and York Counties.
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September's webinar is Self-Care and Cultural Safety in Victim Services. Our webinars are FREE and open to the public. We also provide 1 OVSEC approved credit hour for your continued learning credits. Practicing and encouraging radical self-care in the work place is a key aspect of pursuing cultural safety and trauma-informed care.

Participants will first explore the goal of cultural safety in victim service provision using the framework of cultural humility. Cultural safety is “an environment that is spiritually, socially and emotionally safe, as well as physically safe for people; where there is no assault challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning together” (Williams, 1999). Participants will learn to use the practice of cultural humility, viewing themselves as partners in the helping relationship rather than the expert; one outcome of this practice is that survivors are empowered to build collaborative safety and/or treatment plans.

The practice of cultural humility is rooted in critical self-reflection and self-care. Therefore, participants will explore strategies for practicing radical—rather than reactive—self-care in their relationships with victims, with coworkers, and with themselves. Some tactics will include mindfulness exercises, tactile stress management tools, and reflective listening. The webinar ends with a period of self-reflection and personal goal-setting, allowing participants to leave with actionable strategies in practice.

Register Here

If you have not previously registered for our training registration system, Coalition Manager, you can do that here. http://www.sccadvasa.org/faq/

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Registration is currently open for the Victim Service Provider Basic Training (VSP). In an effort to make the VSP Basic Certification Training more accessible, SCCADVASA has reorganized the manner in which this training will be provided.

The in-person required hours will be one day, and will run from 9:00am-3:15pm, on Friday, September 29, 2017 in Columbia, SC. The online session is approximately 13 ½ hours and should be completed at your own pace, but prior to attending the in-person training. To access the online training, login to sc.coalitionmanager.org and select the Trainings tab, then Basic Training for Victim Service Providers. Once you have completed the online portion of the training, you will need to call SCCADVASA and we will register you for the in-person portion. If you or your staff have questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Reminder:
Step 1:  View and complete the online training.
Step 2:  Register for the in-person training. (*Cannot register for in-person, until you have completed the online potion of the training.)
Step 3:  Apply for Victim Service Provider(VSP) number through OVSEC .

2017 In-person VSP dates:
September 29, 2017
November 10, 2017

Training Location: All trainings will be held in Columbia, SC.

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Our August webinar learning opportunity on August 18, 2017 at 10:00AM - 11:00AM, facilitated by Olivia London, Coordinator of Primary Prevention and Specialized Advocacy at SCCADVASA, will help us prepare for back-to-school season.

As educators, administrators, and families are gearing up for students returning to school, we will discuss how to effectively prevent sexual abuse, sexual violence, and dating violence experienced by youth. Participants will learn the content and implications of both the South Carolina Domestic Violence Law and Erin’s Law for work within schools, what those laws require from schools, and some of the complications with implementation. With an understanding of the legal framework, participants will strategize on how these laws can be utilized within their schools and will also consider ways to go above and beyond the requirements of the law to truly create safe environments and effective prevention programs. Participants will have the opportunity to strategize on how to use their roles within schools to advocate for violence prevention programming and services.

If you have not previously registered for our training registration system, Coalition Manager, you can do that here.

Register Here

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Beyond Abuse is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this month. Their mission is to lead our community beyond sexual violence and child abuse through awareness, advocacy and action. Services provided by Beyond Abuse include complete confidentiality, 24/7 crisis response, advocacy, counseling, assistance with filing victim’s compensation, and facilitation of awareness and education programs.  In addition, children ages 17 and under who are referred by law enforcement agencies or the Department of Social Services may receive forensic interviews and/or child maltreatment exams.

In 1977, they were chartered as the “Rape Crisis Council” and staffed by a group of concerned citizen volunteers to provide emergency response and advocacy to the victims of sexual violence. By 1992, they secured their 501(c)3 non-profit status and hired an Executive Director to coordinate the programs in Greenwood County. The next year, their services expanded to include Laurens County.

 The organization sought a name change in 1997, to Sexual Trauma and Counseling Center and by 1999 they had expanded even further to Abbeville County. 2003 brought a significant change as the organization added an accredited Children's Advocacy Program to their service reach.

It wasn't until 2013 that they changed their name to its current title, Beyond Abuse, to better represent the services that were being provided and the mission of the organization. This year, they opened a Client Services Center in Laurens County, to provide easier access to services for victims in surrounding area. They are also planning this year the grand opening of new Administrative Offices adjacent to the already existing Greenwood Client Services Center, renovation to the Greenwood Client Services Center to increase forensic interview and therapy capacity and, of course, their 25th anniversary celebration!

Join Beyond Abuse to help them celebrate this momentous occasion by attending their Paint and Pour!

When: Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:00PM - 8:00PM.
Where: The Arts Center, 120 Main Street, Greenwood, SC

Tickets $25    ***wine and cheese provided***

Call (864) 227-1623 to reserve your seat

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Our next webinar learning opportunity is on Thursday, July 27, 2017, 10:00AM - 11:00AM with Brian Bennett. Brian has 20 years of law enforcement experience with specialization and training in the area of domestic violence.

Strangulation is a potentially lethal form of domestic violence and sexual assault that occurs with a frequency unrecognized by many professionals working in all areas of response to these crimes. As a South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Training Instructor, Brian will provide a foundational webinar that will: 

1. Educate participants on the need for increased awareness about strangulation. 
2. Increase participants’ ability to identify when strangulation has occurred. 
3. Enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of working with victims who have been strangled. 
4. Increase capacity to improve policies and practices in working with victims. 
5. Strengthen offender accountability and ultimately improve victim safety.  

If you have not previously registered for our training registration system, Coalition Manager, you can do that here.

Register Here

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Pee Dee Coalition opened New Beginnings Transitional Shelter for abused women and their children on June 1 in the newly renovated Thurman-Steele House in Marlboro County.  New Beginnings Transitional Shelter includes a 5,159 square-foot, two-story house, five acres of fenced land, a children’s playground, and a gated-electronic entrance security system to provide a comfortable and safe environment for up to 12 women, including children. The Marlboro County facility represents an important addition to the Coalition’s existing emergency shelter program—which began in 1989 with an emergency safe shelter at an undisclosed location—and now enables the Coalition to provide safe living space on a temporary basis for up to 37 survivors.

When an abused woman has stayed in an emergency shelter for the maximum number of days, or has left an abusive situation and is no longer in crisis, she may have nowhere to go. At New Beginnings Transitional Shelter, such women and their children can have a place to live and access to support and resources for up to 18 months, so they can develop the life skills necessary to live independently.

Developing life skills and securing resources to live self-sufficiently takes time. A survivor may be on a waiting list for housing, trying to find employment and/or working to secure safe transportation. She may need to complete her education, open a bank account or get a driver’s license. Regardless of the specific needs, the reality is that abused women and their children sometimes need transitional shelter and services for an extended period. New Beginnings Transitional Shelter offers survivors that time and those opportunities.

“Recovering from an abusive relationship requires building a new life, and starting over is not always easy,” says Janice Hamlin, New Beginnings Shelter Services Coordinator. “This takes time in a safe and supportive environment such as New Beginnings." Made possible through support from the Victims of Crime Act, as well as private donations and volunteer assistance from the community, New Beginnings Transitional Shelter offers the location as well as professional support services.

A public event to celebrate the shelter’s opening is being planned for fall, in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At that time, Pee Dee Coalition will also host a ceremony to formally commemorate the shelter’s playground, which is being named “Iyana’s Playground” in memory of eight-year-old Iyana Lowery and her mother Ella, who were murdered in Marlboro County earlier this month.

Support New Beginnings

For more information, please contact Janice Hamlin at jhamlin@peedeecoalition.org or 843-669-4964.

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Safe Passage is celebrating 25 years of service to survivors in the area surrounding Rock Hill, SC. They began as a program of the Salvation Army helping domestic violence victims and became a stand-alone agency in 1992 under the name Tri-County Sisterhelp. Safe Passage has been providing services to victims of sexual trauma and child abuse since merging with the Sexual Assault Resource Center in 2005.

Safe Passage was established for the purpose of offering supportive services to families living in abuse so they could make changes in their lives and eliminate violence. They work every day to empower survivors, eliminate abuse, engage the community, and engender change.

Program services include emergency shelter for domestic violence victims and their minor children, adult and child counseling, advocacy, 24-hour hospital accompaniment for sexual assault victims, community referrals, education, support groups, and parenting classes. Services which are offered for shelter residents are also available for non-residential clients.

All of their services are free and provided without regard to income, age, sex, ethnicity, limited English proficiency, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or disability. Their 24-hour emergency shelter is the only domestic violence shelter available to victims in York, Chester, Union and Lancaster counties.

Safe Passage also maintains a 24-hour crisis line and accompany victims of sexual assault during their medical exams in order to provide advocacy and support during the aftermath of the assault.  They provide counseling services and court accompaniment for victims.

Community education and outreach to the counties in their service area is available upon request in order to prevent interpersonal violence, promote our services, increase awareness around violence and its effects in our community, and encourage community support for survivors of interpersonal violence.

Join Safe Passage on August 10, 2017 for a night of dinner, dancing, drinks and a raffle to celebrate this momentous occasion. Admission is $25 per person. Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased via Eventbrite or the day of the event. If you have any questions please contact Shelby Lewis at 803-329-3336 or slewis@safepassagesc.org.

 

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