Gov. Haley: Domestic Violence Reforms

January 7, 2016 For immediate release Contact: Brian Symmes, 803-673-9437

Gov. Haley Was Joined By Members Of The S.C. Domestic Violence Task Force And Solicitors From Around The State
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley, members of the South Carolina Domestic Violence Task Force, and solicitors from around the state held a Statehouse press conference today announcing the implementation of the first set of significant, statewide reforms to address domestic violence in South Carolina.
Less than a year after the Task Force presented her with recommendations, Governor Haley announced that 10 of those recommendations have been addressed through a combination of Executive Orders, the governor’s Executive Budget, and agreements with state boards and non-government associations.
Actions taken by Governor Haley and the S.C. Task Force:
• Governor Haley announced that her Executive Budget for 2016-2017 will fund new prosecutors, new judges, and new public defenders to end the practice of law enforcement officers prosecuting domestic violence crimes in the courtroom, which will also reduce caseloads, decrease backlogs, and ensure that a dedicated prosecutor is assigned to every county in South Carolina.
Executive Order 2016-02 – extends the Task Force to ensure that all 50 Task Force recommendations will be completed and that meaningful results are rendered for the people of South Carolina.
Executive Order 2016-03 – orders that all Cabinet agencies adopt a comprehensive HR policy for domestic violence that includes procedures for confidentiality, safety and security, performance and leave, and educating employees regarding available resources.
Executive Order 2016-04 – orders certain Cabinet agencies that offer direct client services to adopt a risk assessment screening policy for domestic violence.
• The Task Force has received commitments from nine professional boards to include domestic violence training in their continuing education:  Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Pharmacists, Social Workers, Cosmetologists, and Counselors and Therapists.
• The Task Force has created a one-page regional brochure to be printed from LLR’s website for those professional boards to distribute and make available in offices in all parts of the state.
• The Task Force has created a standardized reporting form for local governments to use when sending their annual report to the Treasurer’s Office of how criminal fines and fees are spent on victim services.
Additional information about the S.C. Domestic Violence Task Force can be found on Governor Haley’s website.-###-