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Post and Courier exposes chilling domestic abuse in South Carolina

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Till Death Do Us Part - Rainey grave

Detra Rainey and her four children were shot to death by her husband in North Charleston, South Carolina, in 2006.

Credit: Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier

Today, The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, unveils a remarkable series on domestic abuse, Till Death Do Us Part. It begins with this chilling overview:

More than 300 women were stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men in South Carolina, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse.

More than three times as many women have died here at the hands of current or former lovers than the number of Palmetto State soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

It’s a staggering toll that for more than 15 years has placed South Carolina among the top 10 states nationally in the rate of women killed by men. The state topped the list on three occasions, including this past year, when it posted a murder rate for women that was more than double the national rate.

Awash in guns, saddled with ineffective laws and lacking enough shelters for the battered, South Carolina is a state where the deck is stacked against women trapped in the cycle of abuse.

Till Death Do Us Part collage
Credit: The Post and Courier

Till Death Do Us Part collage

Till Death Do Us Part collage

 

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Till Death Do Us Part was reported by Post and Courier projects reporter Doug Pardue, project editor Glenn Smith, feature reporter Jennifer Hawes, and cops and courts reporter Natalie Caula Hauff. Interns Isabelle Khurshudyan and Sarah Ellis provided data research. The project was reported for TV by Bill Burr of WCIV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston.

The series grew out of a collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting, which helped form a consortium with the University of South Carolina and WCIV to jointly produce the project on multiple platforms. CIR’s former editorial director, Mark Katches, helped edit and manage the project. CIR Senior Editor Jennifer LaFleur and her data team assisted The Post and Courier’s Caula Hauff in analyzing and vetting the state and national data. 

The work is part of CIR's consulting arm with local media across the country. Earlier this year, we worked with Alabama Media Group on an investigative reporting lab around an investigation into the state's troubled prison system. 

We’re proud to have had a part in this project. Please go to The Post and Courier website and read these important stories.