Gov. Nikki Haley Announces New Website And County Challenge For Domestic Violence
www.SafePlaceSC.sc.gov Provides Citizens With Resources For Domestic Violence
COLUMBIA, S.C. – May 20, 2016 - Governor Nikki Haley began the Statewide Domestic Violence Summit today by announcing a new website aimed at providing information and resources to domestic violence survivors, loved ones, and offenders as well as to professional groups in the workplace. The Summit ended with the governor announcing Safe Place County Certifications as a challenge to counties to lead local efforts against domestic violence.
"When you go to this website, not only does it ask you what town and zip code you live in, it also gives you all of the resources available to you within your community," Governor Haley said. "But it goes a step further - it tells someone who is being abused what they can do to get help, it tells someone who thinks they know someone who's being abused how to go about approaching the situation, and it tells someone who is an offender what they can do to get the help they need."
The website features a 24-hour crisis hotline, a statewide directory of resources searchable by location, safety checklists and tips for victims and loved ones, and an exit button for victim safety. Citizens are also encouraged by the website to learn the phrase, "Share. Care. Be There," as a three-step process for how loved ones should approach a friend or family member suspected to be a victim of domestic violence. SafePlaceSC.sc.gov is a result of the work done by the S.C. Domestic Violence Task Force to provide South Carolinians with a single resource for domestic violence information.
"When we talk about 'Share. Care. Be There,' that really comes down to a couple of things," Governor Haley said. "If you know of someone or suspect that someone is being abused, share your concerns with them. Care, but don't judge. We can't judge someone who is being abused because they already feel badly about themselves and our job is to lift them up, and get them help. And finally, it's just to be there because this is a patient situation."
The Safe Place County Certification Challenge includes four components for counties to achieve by the end of 2016 to be certified as a Safe Place County for domestic violence awareness:
- Sheriffs must pledge to implement the Law Enforcement Toolkit Year One Initiatives, which was completed by all 46 Sheriffs as of April 2016;
- Solicitors must hold a meeting of the Community Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and organize the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee;
- Counties must adopt a human resources policy for domestic violence, modeled after the policy the governor implemented in her cabinet agencies earlier this year; and
- Counties must partner with local nonprofits to hold a community awareness event for domestic violence.
The county initiative is a result of recommendations proposed by the S.C. Domestic Violence Task Force to unite the entire state against domestic violence, beginning at the local level.
For video of the governor's closing remarks, visit the governor's YouTube page.