Berkeley County sorority holds domestic violence forum

By Ava Wilhite

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- Executive Director of My Sisters House Elmire Raven addressed a group of Berkeley County women Thursday night, who want to do more to end domestic violence.{}

"We rank number one in the nation for the number of women murdered by men and we have been in the top ten for three years in row," she said. "Ten years in a row ranking three times."

These women are members of the Berkeley County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. The group asked Raven to talk about domestic violence in light of two recent community events.

"Just with the young lady that possibly got murdered by a partner in Sangaree, just a few weeks ago, we wanted to bring something close to home," said Chapter President Darlene Broughton.

She said she was heartbroken to hear about the double murder involving Ashley Kaney, her 8-year-old daughter Riley and their accused murderer Jacob Philip, who is also Kaney's boyfriend.

"It's shocking. It really is shocking to know that there are people in 2013 that don't have a place to go and end up in situations they can get out of," said Broughton.

The group also asked questions about violence between adult siblings.

Just this week, deputies with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office responded to a domestic situation between a James Island brother and sister who lived with their elderly parents.

"As a rule we have seen them, we've seen parents beat by children but those are not our typical domestic violence victims," said Raven.

Raven said continuing the conversation about domestic violence will make a difference, not just when it's in the media.

"It should be an ongoing awareness, not just when something happens and I think that is part of the problem that we only focus on it when something happens versus realizing that it is an ongoing issue that should be focused on every day," she said. "Because every day a woman is killed due to domestic violence."

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, there are national hotlines you can call. For domestic violence reports, call 1-800-799-SAFE. For sexual assault reports, call 1-800-656-HOPE. You can also call the Trident United Way hotline at 211.

These hotlines are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.