Annual figures released by the Violence Policy Center on Wednesday said South Carolina is the No. 2 state with the highest rate of women killed by men.
The only state worse than South Carolina is Nevada, according to the report “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data.”
South Carolina hasn’t made the changes necessary to make a difference in domestic violence numbers, said Vicki Bourus, co-director of the Georgetown Family Justice Center.
“We need to put time and effort into more comprehensive broad-based training for our law enforcement officers,” she said.
In Horry County, domestic violence calls make up 7 percent of total calls for service by police, a percentage that’s held steady over the last couple of years.
The annual report only includes records where a woman was killed by a single male offender using the most recent data available from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
South Carolina, according to the report, had 46 women murdered by men in 2010 for a homicide rate of 1.94 per 100,000.
The ranking is a considerable increase from last year’s study which looked at 2009 data when South Carolina ranked No. 7 with 42 deaths and a 1.79 rate.
Bourus hadn’t seen the latest study but said she was worried South Carolina could’ve jumped to No. 1.
“I’ve been concerned about this for a while,” she said. “I anticipated we would see an increase for that year. It’s not anything we should take any pride in and South Carolina has some work to do.
“We still see a minimization of the problem by professionals and often it doesn’t look as serious as it is in its early stages and that’s when we need to be responding,” Bourus said.
Additionally, she said education in the schools still needs improvement.
Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, which aided domestic violence victims in Myrtle Beach, shut down this summer amid allegations of misused funding and resulted in the arrest of the organization’s director. But, CASA II, led by Erin Wilde, is coming together to fill in the gap for victims.
Wilde said the organization is now officially incorporated and working on fundraising activities. One will happen at the end of the month -- a cooking competition following the format of the television series “Top Chef.”
In all of the incidents in 2010, the women knew their killer, and 70 percent were murdered by their spouse or boyfriend, according to the report. Most of the deaths, 65 percent, involved guns and were the result of arguments between the woman and the offender, the report said.
“Women face an unacceptable risk of being victims of homicide perpetrated by people they know and love,” said VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Much more must be done to protect women and prevent domestic violence that too often escalates to homicide.”
Tennessee, Louisiana and Virginia rounded out the top five worst states in the report.
In 2011, Horry County police responded to 9,036 domestic violence incidents, while there were 140 calls in North Myrtle Beach and 442 in Myrtle Beach in the same year.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.