January 13, 2015

Sheriff Boone Addresses Domestic Violence

Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone, along with domestic violence victims and other state and local officials, urged the General Assembly to pass new Domestic Violence legislation by the end of the 2015 Legislative Session today at the State House. In his address, Sheriff Boone stated as follows:

“While I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to address you today, it is my sincere hope that my comments are not the ones that echo in your memory in the days and months that follow today’s event. Instead, I hope that it is the words of Christian Rainey that stir in the recesses of your soul. For, once you have heard Mr. Rainey’s story, and know that he is only one of countless individuals whose lives have been ripped apart by domestic violence, it nearly impossible not to act.

With that in mind, I come today on behalf of the forty-six Sheriffs of this State to ask the General Assembly to take action to help guard against domestic violence and to provide additional tools to prosecute those individuals who commit acts of domestic violence. I come today to encourage the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 3.

As Sheriff, I have seen firsthand the damage that is caused by domestic violence. As an individual who seeks to ensure justice is served on a daily basis, I cannot begin to explain the frustration I feel when I see abusers receive little or no punishment for their actions. It is time for South Carolina to take domestic violence more seriously. It is time for us to stand tall and send a clear message--domestic violence cannot and will not be tolerated in this State any longer. I firmly believe that Senate Bill 3 will help send that message and will give law enforcement agencies and prosecutors the tools needed to make a true difference.

Let’s not kid ourselves though. Our problems with domestic violence do not begin and end with legislation. There seems to be a culture in our State that says it is ok to hit women. As Sheriff, I am here to say that culture must change. Something must be done to teach little boys that it is not ok to hit women. Something must be done to teach little girls that it is not ok to be hit. Everyone has a role to play in ending domestic violence. Start today. As Sheriff, I am taking a stand against domestic violence and vow to do all that I can to protect the citizens of this State from domestic violence. But perhaps most importantly, as a father to both a son and a daughter, I am here to declare that I will personally live a life that demonstrates that it is never ok to abuse women and it is never ok for a woman to be abused. I challenge each of you to make that same commitment.

In closing, I again would like to encourage the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 3 and beg each of you to be the difference that we so desperately seek.”

South Carolina is second in the nation for women killed by men. In 2013 we were number one. Under current South Carolina law, you can receive up to 5 years in prison for abusing a dog, but only 30 days for abusing your spouse. Each year, approximately 36,000 domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement in South Carolina, and one in four women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. Senate Bill 3 calls for stiffer penalties and a tiered set of penalties, especially for repeat offenders and for incidents committed in the presence of a minor or while a victim is known to be pregnant.


Major Michael M. Nunn
General Counsel/P.I.O.