Reports have been circulating over the last few days that 2015 was one of the most violent years in the tri-county area in a decade with 77 homicides recorded.? With national attention beaming over us as a result of the Walter Scott shooting and the EmanuelAME massacre, this is a topic that has become very personal for all of us.
Let us rewind a few months to July, 2015 when a report came out that listed South Carolina as the #1 state in the US for deadly violence against women.
There are a few details you should know about this ranking:
- 2.32 women killed by men for every 100,000 residents according to the Violence Policy Center
- This figure is more than twice the national average
- The previous year, South Carolina ranked second
- South Carolina has been in the top ten worst ranking for 18 straight years
Now let us look at the tri-county area of Dorchester, Berkeley and Charleston counties.? This year we had 77 recorded homicides.
Since 2001, only three years saw annual homicide numbers over 70 with 2006 and 2015 equally the deadliest years.? In 2015, 88% of the homicides were accomplished with the use of guns.
Let us look beyond the numbers at other violent and heinous acts:
- On the morning of October 9, a woman bit off the tongue of a 16 year old teen to avoid being raped
- In August, 2015, an Uber driver was accused of kidnap and rape of a female passenger
- In September, 2015, a Georgetown man was charged in the alleged rape of a minor
- In October, 2015, 14 people were arrested in a Berkeley County narcotics raid
- In November, 2015, a 61 year old Lexington, SC man received 50 years for childhood rape
- 13 year old boy fatally shoots a would be burger in November, 2015
- Man charged in raping drunk girl as well as providing alcohol and cocaine in September, 2015
We can analyze the statistics and begin a long heated debate on gun control, mental illness, racism or diverse population growth, but when you look beyond the numbers and see the horrible acts being committed, it is time we look to ourselves, our political leadership and begin to have the right conversations.? Ones that result in positive progress so that we begin to take the right steps to move away from the violence, hate and death.