HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A study from the Violence Policy Center ranks South Carolina as the sixth state for its rate of women killed by men.
Statistics from the study show that nationwide, 1,809 women were killed by men in 2016. Of that number, 48 were murdered in South Carolina.
The study also states that nine out of 10 victims knew their offenders, and 63 percent were married to their killer.
Officials with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said they’ve responded to 600 domestic violence-related calls so far this year.
A local organization, Ebony’s Hope, is working to bring awareness to domestic violence.
Gwen Reed started the organization five years ago after her sister, Ebony, was shot by her boyfriend at the Conway BINGO in 2013.
The Fifth Annual Ebony’s Hope Rally is Saturday in Conway.
Reed said by holding these events, she hopes she can make a difference in Horry County and the state.
She added one of the biggest things the area is lacking is shelters for women who are trying to escape a domestic violence situation.
“South Carolina, though we rank in the top 10 in the last two decades, we have 18 women’s shelters on record that I know of and we have hundreds of animal shelters,” Reed said. “I think that’s something that needs to be rectified. That’s why myself and others are out here trying to rectify those conditions and bring awareness to domestic violence. We can’t be in the top 10 for two decades and have more animal shelters than safe havens.”