A bell tolled while 33 domestic violence homicide victims’ names, from 19 of South Carolina's 46 counties, were read aloud. This is the sound I remember after leaving the Silent Witness ceremony at the South Carolina State House last Tuesday. A summary was read of the 33 victims’ deaths as silhouettes representing each of the deceased were carried onto the granite steps of the State House. This is a moment I will never forget.
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Help to Stop Domestic Violence in South Carolina

by Rebecca Callaham, Executive Director, Safe Harbor

From the Greenville News – August 8, 2010

Jessica Anderson. Natasha Kerns. Christine Crane: Three women who lost their lives this summer in Greenville County. Not to an illness, cancer or a horrible accident. Each one lost her life because the man who was supposed to love her allegedly took it from her. Each one silenced forever by domestic violence.

In South Carolina, where we promote family values and Southern hospitality, we are literally loving each other to death. South Carolina ranked No. 8 last year for the number of women killed by men. The previous year, South Carolina ranked No. 2. This is hardly an improvement, as South Carolina has consistently ranked in the Top 10.

According to the S.C. Department of Public Safety, Greenville County ranks No. 1 in the state for family violence victimization, No. 2 for domestic violence victimization, No. 2 for domestic violence aggravated assault and No. 2 for domestic violence simple assault.

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Domestic Violence and Faith

by Julie Meredith, Director of Volunteers & Communication, Safe Harbor

Faith communities and churches provide a social network for individuals and families, comfort for the grieving, hope for those who are depressed, redemption for sinners, and care for the sick.  When a church member is diagnosed with cancer, he/she is upheld in the prayers of the congregation and supported with encouraging cards.  When a family in the church loses a loved one, church members bring meals and send flowers.  In many churches, support groups and counseling are available for people who are dealing with addictions, grief, divorce, or other concerns.

But, what kind of support does a person receive from her congregation when she reveals that she is being abused by her spouse or partner?  After working at Safe Harbor for the past two years, I honestly cannot answer this question.  It is difficult to know what a victim of domestic violence might experience when she turns to her congregation for help.  I have learned that the kind of support that a victim receives tends to vary from congregation to congregation.  Congregational support for victims depends on the congregation’s leadership, its membership, its theology and beliefs, and its understanding of domestic violence.

Here are the stories of two victims:

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Welcome to Safe Harbor’s Blog

“Domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colors and lives in many different communities.”
– Sandra Pupatello

Welcome to our blog!  Safe Harbor is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, and other services for victims of domestic violence and their children in the upstate of South Carolina.  We also offer outreach and education concerning the issue of domestic violence throughout the four-county area that we serve – Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties. 

Safe Harbor is excited to have the opportunity to use this blog to expand our outreach services to victims and to further educate our community about Safe Harbor’s mission and services.  We will use this blog to discuss the issue of family violence and related topics, to share news about Safe Harbor programs and upcoming events, and to share stories of hope and inspiration. 

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