BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WSAV) – The wedding dress is designed to make a woman feel beautiful on her special day.
Now one organization is using the dress to highlight something else, the problem of domestic violence.
Hopeful Horizons has placed wedding dresses in each of the four Beaufort County Public libraries. The dresses are adorned with the names of the victims. People who have died from domestic violence in the past year.
“It’s really hidden. It’s really insidious” explains Hopeful Horizons’ CEO Kristin Dubrowski. “A lot of people immediately say when you work in the domestic violence field say well I don’t understand why they don’t just leave the relationship, they don’t understand the power and control dynamics that trap people in those abusive relationships and keep people in those abusive relationships.”
The Violence Policy Center has released their annual report, When Men Murder Women, and South Carolina ranks 6th this year, with 57 homicides.
The homicide rate of females murdered by males in South Carolina, 2.15 per 100,000, is a significant increase from the previous report and significantly more than the national average of 1.18/100,000.
“The Violence Policy Center ranking is a stark reminder of the high rate of femicide in South Carolina,” said Kristin Dubrowski. “However, those statistics are only part of the story. There are thousands of people whose lives are impacted by domestic violence each year in South Carolina. Domestic Violence Awareness Month not only provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost, but to also learn more about the issue, celebrate survivors, and make a commitment to ending violence and abuse in our communities.”
The Wedding Gown Project will be on display all month long.
The Hopeful Horizons Outreach and Prevention team will have a presence at many events throughout the Lowcountry this month:
· Tuesday, Oct. 5, Walterboro Police’s National Night Out Event
· Saturday, Oct. 9, Port Royal Farmer’s Market
· Monday, Oct. 11, In His Name Outreach in Colleton County
· Friday, Oct. 16, St. Helena Farmer’s Market
· Thursday, Oct. 21, Bluffton Farmer’s Market
· Saturday, Oct. 30, Colleton County Farmer’s Market