For the last two decades South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 worst states for women being killed by men in the Violence Policy Center’s “When Men Murder Women” study. This year saw the Palmetto State making the top five for the sixth year in a row, the Post and Courier reports.
This year’s fifth place ranking is on par with last year, which also saw the state ranked fifth according to the Post and Courier. The year before that, South Carolina shamefully held the number one spot on the list.
Ahead of South Carolina in this year’s study, Alaska took the top spot for the second year in a row, followed by Nevada, Louisiana and Tennessee. The study used 2015 deaths to create this year’s report, the Post and Courier reports.
Palmetto State lawmakers began working to diminish the number of women killed in 2014 following a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative series in the Post and Courier that revealed that over 300 women had died in domestic violence incidents over the course of a decade, the Post and Courier reports.
Changes made to the state’s domestic violence laws in June of 2015 included stiffer punishments linked to the degree of domestic violence and the revoking of gun ownership rights for those convicted of domestic violence, the Post and Courier reports. Those laws took effect in the middle of the year that this year’s study collected data from.
More recently additional prosecutors, public defenders and specialized probation officers have been hired to more readily handle incidents according to the Post and Courier. None of those changes were in effect in 2015.
In their most recent study, the Violence Policy Center found that nine out of 10 victims knew their killers, the Post and Courier reports.