Education group meets on domestic violence

Advocates for victims of domestic violence rally at the South Carolina Statehouse in January.

COLUMBIA — A subset of a task force appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to combat the state’s troubling number of domestic violence victims began Friday to assess and compile education and community programs that deal with the issue across the state.

The community education and outreach subcommittee of Haley’s Domestic Violence Task Force met for the first time to develop goals and push toward coordinating existing resources on domestic violence.

The group, chaired by Labor, Licensing and Regulation Director Richele Taylor, discussed a sprawling set of topics relating to domestic violence education programs. Haley has said the goal of the larger group is to find ways to change South Carolina’s culture around domestic violence.

Christan Rainey, a North Charleston resident who is an advocate and domestic violence victim, told committee members that the effort should in part revolve around younger, middle-school age children. That age group is more familiar than most would realize with domestic violence issues, he said.

“The younger the better to me,” he said of when students should receive education.

Taylor asked members of the committee to collect information on domestic violence programs and statistics in higher education, high schools and middle schools across the state. The committee will also assess what professions and other community groups do to address the issue. That data will eventually be compiled into a report and the committee will decide on what changes might be necessary.