South Carolina on Thursday took a step toward better protecting victims and punishing batterers after more than a decade as one of the deadliest states for women at the hands of men.
Surrounded by lawmakers who fought for tougher penalties and a partial gun ban for offenders and victims advocates in the Statehouse lobby, Gov. Nikki Haley signed the domestic violence reform bill passed by the House and Senate after months of brinkmanship and negotiations.
“A huge statement is being made today and that is that South Carolina is no longer thinking about the convenience of the abuser,” Haley said. “South Carolina is thinking about strengthening the survivor.”
State Attorney General Alan Wilson, who lobbied lawmakers to give prosecutors the tools they needed to lock up repeat offenders and get others into treatment, said Thursday the law represents a milestone for South Carolina.