Survivors of domestic violence applaud SC legislation

When it comes to the fallout from domestic violence locally, “My Sisters House” and the Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center, have been working the front-lines for many years.

Executive Director at “My Sisters House” Elmire Raven is a domestic violence survivor herself and called the passing a huge day for South Carolina– she has dedicated almost 3-decades to helping victims.

“We house in our 24-hour shelter about 400-families per year; we answer about 23-thousand crisis calls on our crisis line.”
Before victims were on their own, almost forced to prosecute the cases themselves but now there are stiffer penalties for first time offenders and gun restrictions based on a judge’s discretion. Raven says new law will make a difference.

Related: Gov. Haley signs bill with stiffer domestic violence penalties

“As a survivor I will say that the laws we have now are far better and more helpful than they were when I was a victim, so you should be able to move forward and use the laws that are in place, to better protect you and your children.”

Those at the Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center see different effects from domestic violence.
“When children witness this it has an impact on their emotions and on their behaviors in the short term as well as the long term.”

Carol Swiecicki from Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center says children are often the forgotten victims in the home and suffer a different type of trauma. But the new laws will help and Swiecicki says may possibly stem the tide years to come. The abuse, so common, it’s carried on into the next generation.

“The legislation defines children as victims of domestic violence which is new. So minor witnesses of domestic violence, they are now labeled as victims that opens them up for services which is a really great way to interrupt the impact that witnessing domestic violence can have on children.”

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