MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Domestic violence continues to be an issue in South Carolina. The state has been leading the nation in victimization rates for more than 10 years.
There are 32,563 cases of domestic violence in South Carolina each year; 43% of South Carolina women and 29.2% of men will be physically or sexually abused by a partner.
However, 10-year-old Summer Belle Faire is working to decrease those numbers by working with Sen. Katrina Shealy, R- Lexington and Sen. Dick Harpootlian, R-Lexington, to pass a bill that would permit more evidence to be allowed in court in domestic violence cases, specifically regarding the defendants’ past domestic violence violations. A state survivor advocacy organization believes this would prevent future violence from repeat abusers.
Faire is the current title holder of Young Miss Columbia and will compete in July for Little Miss South Carolina. She decided to write the bill to complete her service project.
“My mother was a domestic violence prosecutor and it inspired me to google propensity evidence with domestic violence and I found Alaska’s law and wrote my bill and sent it to Rep. Allison and she showed it to Senator Shealy,” Faire said.
The bill recognizes Faire for her tireless advocacy with the hope of reducing the perpetual abuse of victims of domestic violence.
“I want to change the world and impact as many people as I can, ” Faire said.
She partnered with Sister Care , a non-profit based in Columbia that provides services and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and their children.
Faire is waiting for her subcommittee hearing to be scheduled after the holidays; she is confident that her partnership with different advocacy groups will help get the bill passed.
She wanted to inspire others to advocate for domestic violence in their state, and she made it clear that this should not only be a rule in Alaska, but nationwide.
You can view the full bill here.