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Victim Advocate Lisa Steele-Baker

As the Victim Advocate for the Town of Moncks Corner, I am available to assist you, in the event that you become a victim of a crime. It is very important to realize that as a victim, you have certain rights. I am available to assist you with funding resources, counseling referrals, emergency lodging, and court advocacy. I can also "walk you through" the legal system, including obtaining an Order of Protection and/or a Restraining Order if you wish to do so.

This website has a lot of useful information and resources, but if you would like to learn more about your options and what help is available to you, please feel free to contact me at (843)-719-7929 or you can email me at elizabeth.steele@twn-mc.com.

 

Coping with Stress

As a victim of crime, remember that you have experienced a very stressful situation. Your life has changed, and you may experience strong emotional and physical reactions in the aftermath of the crime. These reactions are normal. Here are a few suggestions to help you regain control more quickly:

  • Structure your time. Maintain as normal a schedule as possible. Keep busy.
  • Reach out. Talk to people. Talk is a healing medicine.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Beware numbing the hurt with overuse of drugs or alcohol. Don't complicate your problems with substance abuse.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Don't make any big life changes.

 

Advocacy In South Carolina

In 1997, the South Carolina General Assembly approved the Victim's and Witness's Bill of Rights. This law defines how victims of crimes in South Carolina will be treated, describes the responsibilities of victims and details the role of government agencies in providing services to victims.

 

Assistance for Crime Victims

I, as the Victim Advocate, help victims apply for compensation for medical expenses, counseling and loss of earnings that are not covered by other sources. The South Carolina Victim's Compensation Fund is administered by the State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA). This fund does not cover property damage, any expenses related to going to court, or "pain and suffering."

 

Criminal Domestic Violence

Criminal domestic violence is defined in South Carolina as " causing physical harm or injury to a person's own household member, or offering or attempting to cause physical harm or injury to a person's own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear or imminent peril."

South Carolina has a "mandatory arrest" law. By state law there is no officer or victim discretion when there is a Violation of an Order of Protection, Violation of a Restraining Order or Physical manifestation of injury to the victim.

 

Assault

Criminal Sexual Conduct occurs when a person commits sexual acts upon another person by force or coercion, or if the victim mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.

  • In 2001, there were 249,000 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [2000 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)]
  • 61% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Those rapists, of course, never serve a day in prison.

 

Signs to look for in a battering personality:

(Taken from "...They always send roses...", presented by Dr. Rebecca A. Lee-Grigg, PhD, Executive Director of MEG's House.)

Below are a list of behaviors that are seen in people who beat their girlfriends or wives. Man of the behaviors described here can also apply to the way women treat men.

  1. Jealousy - An abuser will say that his jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy is a sign of possessiveness and insecurity.
  2. Controlling Behavior - An abuse may be angry if the woman is "late" and question her closely about where she went or who she talked to.
  3. Quick Involvement - Many battered women dated or knew their abuse for less than six months before they were engaged or lived together.
  4. Unrealistic Expectations - An abuser may be very dependent on the woman for all his needs, being the perfect wife, mother, lover and friend.
  5. Isolation - An abuser may cut the woman off from friends, family and other resources (car, work, school, phone, etc.)
  6. Blames Others for his Problems and Feelings - An abuser may tell the woman that she is at fault when things go wrong and uses his feelings to manipulate the woman.
  7. Hypersensitivity - The abuser is easily insulted and takes the slightest setback as a personal attack.
  8. Cruelty to Animals or Children - This is a man who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their suffering. He may expect the children to stay in their rooms all evening while he is home.
  9. Playful Use of Force in Sex/Rigid Sex Roles - This man may like to throw the woman down and hold her during sex. He may show little concern whether she wants to have sex.
  10. Verbal Abuse - He may say things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful.
  11. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - He may have "sudden" changes in mood. One minute he's happy, and the next minute he's "crazy".
  12. Past Battering - The man may say he has hit women in the past, but they made him do it. An abuse will beat any woman he is with.
  13. Threats of Violence - This would include any threat of physical force meant to control the woman.
  14. Breaking or Striking Objects - This behavior is used as punishment (breaking loved possessions), but mostly used to terrorize the woman into submission.
  15. Any Force used during an Argument - This may involve pushing, shoving, hair pulling, spitting, or physically restraining a woman from leaving the room.

More information on Domestic Violence can be found by clicking on the links on this web page. Please feel free to contact the Victim Services Unit of the Town of Moncks Corner Police Department.

Click here to find out more information about Criminal Domestic Violence from the S.C. Victim's Assistance Network.

 

If you, or someone you know is sexually assaulted:

Find a safe place to go to, away from your attacker.

  • Do Not take a shower or brush your teeth. Preserve the evidence of your attack, such as the clothes you are wearing.
  • Call the Police Department immediately. It is important that you report the assault and get medical care.
  • Remember that it is not your fault. You are the victim.
  • Don't be embarrassed about telling your story. The nurses, doctors and law enforcement have dealt with victims who have been through similar assaults.
  • Get professional help through a counselor who is experienced in this type of assault. Contact your local rape crisis center.

Click here to find out more information about Sexual Assault and Rape from the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

 

Harassment & Stalking

Harassment means a pattern of intentional, substantial, and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that causes the person and would cause a reasonable person in his position to suffer mental distress.

Stalking means a pattern of words or conduct that is intended to cause and does cause a targeted person and would cause a reasonable person to fear:

  1. death of the person or member of his family;
  2. assault upon the person or a member of his family;
  3. bodily injury to the person or a member of his family;
  4. criminal sexual contact on the person or a member of his family;
  5. abduction of the person or a member of his family;
  6. damage to the property of the person or a member of his family;
  • 1 out of 12 women are stalked during their lifetime. (NVAW Survey)

 

Local Resources:

  • My Sister's House: (843) 744-3242
  • PAR (People Against Rape): (843) 744-0144
  • SOVA: (803) 734-1900
  • Berkeley County Government: (843) 723-3800
  • Dorchester Children's Center: (843) 875-1551
  • SCVAN: (803) 750-1200
  • SC Center for Equal Justice: (Legal Services): 1-888-346-5592   (Legal Advice): 1-888-321-3644