South Carolina has another nasty statistic this year.
In September, the Violence Policy Center named the Palmetto State — known for it’s ‘smiling faces, beautiful places’ motto — the state with the highest number of women killed by men.
South Carolina leads the nation with 2.54 women killed per 100,00 people in 2011 which is twice the national average. This is the latest year were figures are available.
In York, Chester and Lancaster counties, Rock Hill-based Safe Passage serves victims of domestic violence while also serving victims of sexual assault in the 16th judicial circuit, including York and Union Counties.
“That’s not a statistic we’re proud of,” said Safe Passage board member Judy Longshaw.
Thursday night, organizers wrapped up a two-week long silent auction fundraiser. Final tallies were not immediately available, but volunteer coordinator Samantha Berinsky said the purpose of the money would be decided by the board based on how much was raised.
What makes Safe Passage unique, Berinsky said, is that many services that families in crisis need are usually available under one roof.
“A lot of the people that are asking for services… have to bring their children in for forensic interviews,” Berinsky said. “It comforts the parents because they know they can come to the same place.”
Safe Passage provides free and confidential services including emergency shelter, counseling, advocacy and therapy at no cost to the individuals in need.
“While South Carolina ranks in the top of the nation, York County is the top in the state for a lot of the [domestic violence],” Berinsky said. “We’re trying to bring awareness to the subject…so that people know how to prevent it.”