Committee tasked with improving state's domestic violence laws

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Representative Ralph Kennedy and nine other members of the state's House of Representatives have been given a major task to undertake.

The bipartisan committee appointed by House Speaker Bobby Harrell has been asked to find a way to curb domestic violence in South Carolina.

"We want to make this state better for our citizens and those who want to move here and make South Carolina their home," Kennedy said.

The committee has been told by Harrell to come up with legislation to make the state's domestic violence laws better and Harrell wants that legislation ready on the first day of the upcoming session in January 2015.

"Rather than take someone's individual bill, some legislator's individual bill," Kennedy explained, "he thought it was important enough that this task-force be assigned to look at the issues, study the issues, come up with recommendations on how to make the law better in South Carolina."

According to the Violence Policy Center, a new report released places South Carolina in second place when it comes to the rate of females murdered by males.

Kennedy, a former prosecutor, isn't sure if more prison time is the solution, but he says moving the crimes from Magistrate Court to General Session may help.

"Our families and our relationships can hopefully improve in South Carolina and take us out of that ranking where we are now," Kennedy said.

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