Liza's Lifeline, a Lowcountry nonprofit group advocating against domestic violence, has collaborated with other area organizations to launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness.
Liza's Lifeline was created by Shirley and Doug Warner after their daughter, Liza, was killed in 2004 by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself. Their group provides support to victims of domestic violence, including financial assistance.
The group is collaborating with the marketing firm Trio Solutions, Medical University of South Carolina's National Crime Victims Center and People Against Rape. The resulting campaign, "Combat the Silence," aims to encourage dialogue about domestic violence by urging each citizen to speak with three people they know about "the silent epidemic."
"It seems to be something people don't want to talk about much," Doug Warner said.
The progress of the campaign will be tracked on the website commit2three.org. It will also feature two billboards, including one on Interstate 526 and one on Interstate 26, according to the Warners.
"Mainly, we're hoping we'll get more young people aware of the problem of domestic violence, that it's not proper. It's not a fact of life," Shirley Warner said. "We're hoping more parents will step up and talk to their children."
The Warners pointed to South Carolina's worst in the nation ranking by the Violence Policy Center for its rate of men killing women.
"It's not getting any better in South Carolina, so we just want to do something," Doug Warner said.
The couple said they hope talking about domestic violence will be the first major step in remedying the problem in the state.
The organization is also selling tickets to an annual fundraising event that will benefit Liza's Lifeline. The "Breaking the Silence Gala" will take place on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Harbour Club in Charleston.
At the event, the Zonta Club of Charleston will honor individuals who have made a difference in the lives of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking victims. The keynote speaker this year will be former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster.
Tickets are $85 each and can be purchased through the Zonta Club President Diana Bogart, who can be reached at 822-0146.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.