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South Carolina


State Overview - State Summary - State Projects
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State Overview

Domestic Violence Legislation:Yes (20-4-20)
NIBRS Status:Certified
Additional Data Elements:Yes
Law Enforcement DV System:Incident-Based
Service Provider DV System:Summary Counts
Service Provider SA System:Summary Counts


State Summary

South Carolina does have domestic violence legislation but it does not include same-sex relationships; dating relationships are included only if the participants are currently living together or have lived together in the past. The state is certified to collect NIBRS data and all law enforcement agencies in the state report incident-based data to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Elements in addition to what is required by the FBI are collected, including:

  • Case Status Indicator
    • administrative closure
    • unfounded
    • administrative filler
  • Case Status Date
  • Victim Suspected of Using
    • alcohol
    • drugs
  • A second Location Type variable
  • Automatic/Semi-Automatic Firearm
  • Special Circumstance Codes
    • bomb threat
    • carjacking
    • gas "drive-off"
    • hate/bias motivated
    • offender mentally ill/unstable
    • joy ride with motor vehicle
    • mutilated
    • assault victim is police officer
    • offender committed suicide
    • safe cracking
    • youth gang activity
Additional data values have also been added for:
  • Location Code (apartment/condominium, mall/shopping mall, college/university, and highway rest area)
  • Weapon Type (drowning and strangulation/hanging/suffocation/gas have been broken into separate options; pushed/thrown from high place)
  • Resident Status of Offender and Arrestee (this jurisdiction, state, outside state, unknown)
  • Aggravated Assault/Homicide Circumstances (institutional, drive-by/sniper)
The Division also maintains the state database of protection orders, accessible only to law enforcement agencies.

The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault collects summary statistics from 23 service providers on the number of children and women served or turned away. No formal collection strategy is in place; the Coalition calls each service provider for the information, which is then entered into a spreadsheet. The Coalition shares the statistics it gathers with the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network and the South Carolina State Office of Victim Assistance. The Coalition does not publish data, but information is available upon request.

The service providers also report to the agencies that provide them with grants. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provides funding to sexual assault service providers, while the South Carolina Department of Social Services provides funding to domestic violence service providers. The Department of Health and Environmental Control also administers the state Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, which includes the sexual violence module.


State Projects

  • Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies in Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women
    The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of sex offender registration and community notification policies in reducing sexual violence against women and girls. To date, effects of broad sex offender registration and notification policies have been almost entirely exempt from empirical review. The present study will evaluate sex offender registration and notification policies as applied in South Carolina to determine whether these policies have deterred new sexual offenses or reduced sexual recidivism. Additionally, this study will examine whether an unintended effect has occurred; that is, whether the prosecution or conviction of individuals arrested for serious sexual offenses might have declined since policy implementation, perhaps due to perceived harshness of these policies. Because general crime rates have declined over the past decade, data on robbery and aggravated assault will also be examined to control for reductions in sex offenses.


  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies for Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women. Grant 2006-WT-BX-0001
    The study examines the effectiveness of sex offender registration and community notification policies in reducing sexual violence against women and girls. Because registration and notification policies were federally mandated and have been implemented across the country, they represent the most comprehensive attempts at the prevention and reduction of serious sexual violence. To date, the effects of broad registration and notification policies (e.g., policies that do not distinguish between different offender risk levels and that apply for life) have been almost entirely exempt from empirical review. The present study will evaluate broad sex offender registration and notification policies as applied in South Carolina to determine whether these policies have deterred new sexual offenses (Aim 1) or reduced sexual recidivism (Aim 2). Additionally, this study will examine whether an unintended effect has occurred: that is, whether the prosecution or conviction of individuals arrested for serious sexual offenses might have declined since policy implementation, perhaps due to perceived harshness of these polices (Aim 3). Because general crime rates have declined over the past decade, data on robbery and aggravated assault will also be examined in the context of some analyses to control for reductions in sex offenses that might be due to non-specific factors. Data from 1991 to 2003 to be analyzed include all South Carolina "registry" sexual offense charges and convictions; all robbery and aggravated assault charges and convictions (for comparison); and victim reports of sexual offenses (also for comparison purposes). Patterns of pre-policy (1991-1995) charges and convictions will be compared with post-registration policy data (1996-1999) and with post-Internet notification policy data (2000-2003). This study will represent the first empirical examination of broad registration and notification polices, such as were implemented by approximately half of all U.S. states. These policies have been in effect for over a decade, and examination of their effectiveness is overdue.


  • Domestic Violence Disposition Data
    In January 2006, enhanced sanctions for several criminal domestic violence offenses went into effect in the state, including increased sentence length, mandatory minimum sentences, and increased fines and court assessments. As a result, there is concern that offenders may be charged with non-domestic violence offenses in order to avoid the more stringent sanctions attached to domestic violence offenses. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the State Budget Control Board's Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) are collaborating to collect criminal domestic violence disposition data from 2005 and 2006 to compare dispostion outcomes between the two years to determine how often and in what manner criminal domestic violence arrest charges change.


  • Juvenile Sexual Violence Victims
    The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is also using incident-based law enforcement data to conduct a study of sexual violence on victims under the age of 18. When conducting a previous report of sexual violence, it became apparent that sexual violence victimization rates amont the younger age groups significantly exceeded the rates among older age groups. The Division will therefore be conducting a more detailed examination of sexual violence among young victims.


Available Reports

General Crime

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Violence Against Women


Sample Data Collection Forms

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control administers the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys:

The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault collects server provider statistics in this document:

The South Carolina State Office of Victim Assistance collects information from victims applying for compensation using this form:


Available Data

General Crime

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault


Links to State Agencies and Resources