The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Avery Palmer, 202-822-8200 x104,

VPC Statement on Signing of New Domestic Violence Law in South Carolina


Today, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that strengthens penalties for domestic abusers and sets new restrictions on gun possession for domestic violence offenders, including a lifetime gun ban for the most severe crimes. A major impetus for the legislation was the annual study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC), which has consistently ranked South Carolina in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men.

"This new law is a victory for South Carolina's domestic violence prevention advocates who work tirelessly to protect women and families from domestic violence and prevent domestic abusers from having guns," states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. "South Carolina's governor and legislators have taken an important step forward to help stop lethal violence against women, and it is our hope that other states will be encouraged to follow South Carolina's lead."

The VPC's annual study, When Men Murder Women, is released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October. The most recent study, released in 2014, ranked South Carolina second in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. The state has ranked in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men for each of the past 17 years.

This year, the Post and Courier newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the paper's 2014 investigative series on domestic violence, "Till Death Do Us Part," which was spurred by South Carolina's high ranking for the rate of women murdered by men.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Founded in 1988 by Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, the VPC informs the public about the impact of gun violence on their daily lives, exposes the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offers unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations, and advocates on the federal, state, and local levels, and works for policy changes that save lives. The VPC has a long and proven record of policy successes on the federal, state, and local levels, leading the National Rifle Association to acknowledge us as "the most effective ... anti-gun rabble-rouser in Washington."