I was reading through headlines at Fark.com when I came across an interesting story from Think Progress. I usually don’t read much from them because of the obvious leftward slant of their reporting. That said, I found their story regarding Charleston, South Carolina’s prosecutors views on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law in regards to domestic violence quite interesting.
South Carolina is one of more than 20 states that has passed an expansive Stand Your Ground law authorizing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense. The law has been used to protect a man who killed an innocent bystander while pointing his gun at several teens he called “women thugs.” But prosecutors in Charleston are drawing the line at domestic violence.
In the cases of women who claim they feared for their lives when confronted with violent intimate abusers, prosecutors say the Stand Your Ground law shouldn’t apply.
“(The Legislature’s) intent … was to provide law-abiding citizens greater protections from external threats in the form of intruders and attackers,” prosecutor Culver Kidd told the Post and Courier. “We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with (its) wording and intent.”Source: Think Progress
If I’m understanding what Kidd is suggesting is that a woman in fear of her life from domestic abuse can’t exert her right to self-defense in her own home because the person trying to kill her also lives there? What the f**k kind of sense does that make? Being kinda skeptical of the reporting, I decided to go and check the source articles for myself, and I found that Think Progress was right on the money.
I should have paid close attention to Kidd’s statement about the reach into homes and personal relationships and considered that a major red flag. From an article at The Post and Courier in Charleston, I received quite the education on the issue of domestic abuse in South Carolina. Two different passages from that article laid the situation out before my eyes, and I couldn’t believe what I read.
Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, said lawmakers had not contemplated the application in domestic situations when he introduced the bill in 2005. It’s ultimately up to judges, though, to figure out what the law means, he said.
“But in the end,” Smith said, “our purpose was that if you’re presented with a perilous situation, you’ve got the right to use force.”
The crux of Kidd’s appeal, though, is rooted in the wording of the statute itself.
It says that people should be expected to fear for their lives if someone is breaking into their home, their car or their business. Most people in those situations can defend themselves. But if people share their home with the target of their force, they don’t have that “presumption” of fear, the law says.
The law also extends the self-defense right to “another place” a person is allowed to be if it’s necessary to prevent injury or a violent crime.
To Kidd, “another place” means somewhere besides the home. He argued that the provision does not apply to the home when an attacker is a legal resident.Source: The Post and Courier
Basically, if a woman is getting beat in her home by someone else who lives there, she can’t be afraid of her life. To completely understand the foolishness of his position, you have to juxtapose his idea of the intent of the law with the fact that South Carolina is Number One in America for domestic violence deaths. According to a series done by the same newspaper, the State of South Carolina averaged one domestic violence death every 12 days over the course of a decade. You have to read the series itself to understand South Carolina.
Suffice to say that one fact that struck me as f**ked up, as a father of two girls, was that all 46 counties in SC have at least one animal shelter to care for stray dogs and cats but only has 18 domestic abuse shelters to deal with around 36,000 cases of domestic abuse per year. If you read the series, Till Death Do Us Part, be prepared to take a walk along a path where you find state legislatures caring more about pets involved with domestic abuse cases as opposed to the victim herself. You’ll find that even when guns are the first choice of weapon, the legislature cares more about people having access to guns as opposed to what they do with them inside their personal relationships.
Based on what I’ve read, neither one of my girls will ever reside in South Carolina, especially if their views and environment on domestic violence stays the same. If someone were to lay a hand on either one of them, that would likely be the last time they laid hands on anyone or anything. I don’t understand how fathers in South Carolina don’t feel the same way. Then again, some of them play a part in the cycle of domestic abuse anyway.