Every state has its own laws addressing domestic violence. What may fall under this label in one state may not in another. In South Carolina, there is great concern about the current domestic violence laws. According to The Associated Press, many feel the current laws fall short on offering protection in every situation that should fall under domestic violence.
This concern is prompting changes within the laws. There are some already in place. For example, one big change was to the prosecution methods of domestic violence cases. Previously, law enforcement would prosecute these cases, but due to a change in the law, an attorney now prosecutes. This might seem like a small change, but it allows for better prosecution of such crimes.
The main issue with the law as it currently stands is it only protects those in a marriage, who were formerly married or who share a child. Dating relationships are out of the loop. This leaves a large number of people unprotected under the law. While recent changes have put in place the right for dating couples to get protective orders against each other, the actual domestic violence law does not allow you to press domestic violence charges against your partner if you are just dating.
So, the current move is to add dating to the definition so that anyone in a close, romantic relationship has protection under the state’s domestic violence laws. Lawmakers feel this will make a huge difference in how well the state protects victims of relationship violence. This information is for education and is not legal advice.