The Patriot

Francis Marion University's award-winning student newspaper

The Patriot

The Patriot

Not as taboo anymore

Throughout the past three weeks, there has been one hot topic in the news, domestic violence. After NFL player Ray Rice was seen knocking his fiancé unconscious on an elevator and dragging her out, “domestic violence” are the words spilling out of the media on a daily basis.

It is quite interesting how this single event has made entertainment outlets rethink their policies and punishments on domestic violence. I have heard an extraordinary amount of talk about it on an entertainment, national level but I have not seen domestic violence issues being raised on a local level.

According to a study done by The Violence Policy center in 2012, South Carolina is ranked number two in the states with the highest rate of women murdered by men. The report utilized data from homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender.

An article by Liberty Voice, an online editorial, South Carolina lawmakers want to lower the rate of domestic violence by getting officers to wear body cameras when responding to domestic violence calls. Many victims do not like to testify in court, and police feel as though video will provide a visual record of the physical damage and will be classified as evidence in the courtroom.

There are two issues with this set-up:  Money, of course, is an issue for getting such body cameras, and it may take some victims extended periods of time speak out.

In Florence, the Pee Dee Coalition assists victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and children who have been abused, as well offer counseling services to those who have committed violent acts.

They regularly look for volunteers to assist in many of their programs. Even though I want to volunteer, I have personal doubt and haven’t made that decision yet. I could take the first step and join them on their “Breaking Free Walk” on October 11,after all October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Maybe we can take that important step together.  Whatever information is learned at the walk let it seep in, and then spread it.

Another related topic that I’d like to touch on is the fact that domestic abuse affects men as well as women. It may seem strange since men are stereotypically known to overpower women and demean them, but men can be physically and emotionally abused. gave interesting information on how men get abused and why they stay in the relationship.

For example, there are men who strongly believe in not hitting a woman and there are females who use that to their advantage. They hit men often because they know he will not hit them back. Secondly, some women like to control men. They will use children as pawn pieces, to men that the children will be taken if he tries to leave the relationship.

These men may not leave because they want to protect their children, they feel ashamed and believe law enforcement will never believe them. The website even touched on the fact that religion often has influence in these types of relationships. Some men stay because, according to their religious beliefs, they are supposed to stick with their wives no matter what.

I cannot cover everything that I’d like about domestic violence, but I covered what was on my heart. I just want everyone to know that people are talking about domestic violence more now than ever but it has been around forever, people just did not want to talk about it. Now is the time we can do more than just talk.