Domestic violence survivor: 'Legislation could save lives'

Domestic violence survivor: " Legislation could save lives"
Published: May. 29, 2015 at 9:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2015 at 9:27 PM EDT
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If Governor Haley signs a domestic violence reform bill, people convicted of the crime in South Carolina could face harsher punishments and have their guns taken away.

One domestic violence survivor told WTOC that, if passed, the legislation will save lives.

“I was strangled, I did think that I was going to die in that moment. Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of abuse. When someone is being strangled, the abuser is the power to control that victim's next breath," victim Anna Zweede said.

Zweede said with the new bill, the law can restrict that power and control by punishing abusers, depending on the severity of the attack.

“I think that we need this. I think that it's great that South Carolina has is fine looking at domestic violence and how to save lives," she said.

“The more severe the crime, the more severe the penalties are going to be. Right now its just okay to say this is the first offence, second offence, third offence," Theresa Lacey with CODA said.

The legislation is designed to increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders and even banning some from having guns. Lacey said the gun ban will make a big difference.

"There's been a huge commotion regarding the removal of guns from people who are convicted of domestic violence. A lot of times they think we're offending on second amendment rights. That's not what we're doing. We're trying to take guns out of the hands of people who have offended," she said. 
South Carolina leads the nation in numbers of men killing women. Both Lacey and Zweede hope Domestic Violence Act can change this statistic. 

The House voted to pass the bill Thursday. It is now heading to Governor Haley's desk.

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