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South Carolina Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse


The state of South Carolina refers to the criminal offense of domestic violence or domestic abuse as the act of a person causing injury or harm to a household or family member or trying or threatening to cause injury or harm to a member of a household or family while having the ability to execute the attempted harm or the threatening.

According to South Carolina domestic abuse laws, it is also a criminal offense to go against the protection order against domestic violence or to trespass on the areas of any domestic violence shelter.

Under the state’s domestic abuse law, household or family members refer to former spouses, spouses, and people of different gender living together now or in the past, and people who had kids together.

Arrests made for domestic abuse in South Carolina

When a cop has reasonable reason to acknowledge the occurrence of domestic violence including a protection order being violated, the police officer can arrest the alleged domestic abuser without or with a warrant although he/she may not have observed the offense firsthand.

In case the victim has succumbed to injuries, the cop can arrest the perpetrator when he/she has sufficient reason to believe that an offense of domestic violence has taken place.

Domestic Abuse Laws
Aggravated domestic violence in South Carolina

There is an occurrence of high or aggravated domestic violence in South Carolina if the accused commits one of the following:

  1. A battery or assault against a family or household member with a dangerous weapon or that results in severe injury, or
  2. An attempt or threat to cause injury, an assault without or with the accompanying battery, which has reasonable cause to feel scared of death or severe injury, or
  3. The term “great bodily injury” refers to any kind of injury that creates a significant risk of sustained impairment, permanent disfigurement, or death
  4. A deadly weapon refers to any object, which is generally used to cause injury like a gun.

Protection or restraining orders by courts in South Carolina

A restraining order, which is also referred to as a protection order is an order from a court forbidding a member of a household from coming close to or contacting another family or household member. A household member may request for seeking a restraining order on behalf of their minor kid or for themselves.

Once the hearing is completed, the court may issue an order that:

  1. Forbids the accused from contacting, molesting, threatening, or abusing the petitioner
  2. Prohibits the accused from visiting the workplace or residence of the petitioner or any other place as is directed by the court
  3. Awards visitation and custody of any minor kids on a temporary basis
  4. Awards fees of attorneys and other relevant costs
  5. Prohibits the destruction or sale of a shared property
  6. Awards possession of the personal property on a temporary basis
  7. Grants possession of the shared residence to a petitioner on a temporary basis, and
  8. Orders the accused to pay financial support to a petitioner and the kids on a temporary basis

Such a court order is valid for 6 months but it can be extended.

South Carolina Domestic Abuse Laws

Help for domestic abuse in South Carolina

If you are facing domestic violence or abuse from a household or family member, contact 911 for emergencies.

South Carolina domestic abuse statistics

Domestic abuse statistics in South Carolina reveal some alarming and worrying facts. Every year, the state witnesses 36,000 assaults reported to the state law enforcement agency. Also, South Carolina was the American state that witnessed the maximum number of females murdered by men in 2014. The rate of homicide in the state for women murdered by men has been double the country average.

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