October: During This Month—Domestic Violence Awareness Month—Consider What Factors Contribute to a Healthy Relationship

Healthy Relationships in a World of Trump vs. Hillary
By Leslie Ragsdale Fisk, of South Carolina Legal Services

With news reports crammed with hate crimes, bullying, riots, and terrorism, why are we surprised that people hurt their family members?  Even the 2016 presidential election is being called the most divisive in history.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  What better way to fix the angst in our world than to start at home?   This blog post will discuss ways to have a healthier relationship with your significant other, how to teach your children to have healthy relationships, and how to encourage your clients to have healthy relationships.

Everyone is going to encounter disagreements with others.  If you cannot peacefully resolve disagreements with the people you love, how can you expect to peacefully resolve disagreements with those who may have a different religion, race, sexuality, or political view?   South Carolina has consistently ranked among the worst states for the numbers of women killed by men.   The Violence Policy Reports are released every Fall and rank the states according to the numbers of women killed by men, per capita.  This year’s report, which was released on September 20th, lists South Carolina as #5 in the nation for the number of women killed by men. Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data. Sadly, this is quite an improvement.  
2013 Report:  1st
2104 Report:  2nd
2015 Report:  1st
2016 Report:  5th

Why in our State, do so many people kill the people they love the most?  Governor Haley developed a Domestic Violence Task force in 2015.  The task force has utilized surveys, data, public hearings, and personal testimonies from Survivors to discover the answers and solutions to our shameful problem.  Government officials, advocates, and law enforcement are implementing systematic changes.  But real change must occur in homes as well.

The short answer to why men kill more women in South Carolina has to do with traditional gender roles, gun violence, alcohol abuse, and a history of keeping family matters private.  But even in the states that have ranked far better than we have, there is vitriol among the citizens.   Violence is bad for our children, our health, and our economy.  How can we improve?

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Healthy Relationships Around the Bar:

Sean Cobourn, of Cobourn & Kyriakakis LLC
"Healthy bodies and relationships can be achieved through teamwork and physical exertion.  Sean Cobourn and Jennifer Kane on the summit of Mount Rainier in August 2016.  The air is thin at 14,410 feet!"

  Lindsey Sink Dasher, of Krusch & Sellers  "Thankful to celebrate 5 years of marriage with my husband at the Ballantyne Spa this weekend. Nothing beats a day or two of relaxation and pampering. #livingabovethebar"

Lindsey Sink Dasher, of Krusch & Sellers
"Thankful to celebrate 5 years of marriage with my husband at the Ballantyne Spa this weekend. Nothing beats a day or two of relaxation and pampering. #livingabovethebar"

  Tamika Cannon, of South Carolina Legal Services  "The photos were taken after a night of fun with my husband. Roller skating is great exercise and date night allows us to invest into our relationship."

Tamika Cannon, of South Carolina Legal Services
"The photos were taken after a night of fun with my husband. Roller skating is great exercise and date night allows us to invest into our relationship."