Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. (

  • There were 18,740 emergency hotline calls made to SCCADVASA member domestic violence organizations in FY 2015. These 13 organizations provided emergency shelter to 2,796 adults and children fleeing violence in their homes.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Examples of severe physical violence includes being beaten, hit with a fist or slammed against something. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Domestic violence most often comes to our attention when it becomes deadly. In South Carolina, the femicide rate (in which a woman is murdered by a man) is often over twice the national average. In every year that records have been kept, South Carolina ranks in the top ten states in the nation in the rate of women killed by men. (Violence Policy Center)

Firearms, particularly handguns, are the weapons of choice. Over 60% of these victims were killed with guns. The presence of a firearm in a domestic violence incident increases the risk of the woman being killed by 500% (* J.C. Campbell, D.W. Webster, J. Koziol-McLain, et al., “Risk factors for femicide within physically abusive intimate relationships: results from a multi-site case control study,” 93 Amer. J. of Public Health 1089-1097 (2003).

Click here to view and download our 2018-2019 DV Advisory Committee Annual Report!