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Recognizing domestic violence: The warning signs of an abusive relationship


South Carolina leads the country in women killed by men. According to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, more than 36,000 victims report a domestic violence incident annually, and counselors say many cases are never documented.

Charlotte Anderson is the director of Trident United Way's 211 crisis hotline. She says often it is difficult for women to recognize there is a problem, but she says there are some telling signs that a relationship is abusive.

"Controlling issues, limiting someone else's behavior or movement or thoughts, threats that are not actually physical often precede the actual physical violence."

On Wednesday, 36-year-old Tammy Flowers was murdered in her own home. Her husband, Darryl Flowers, was arrested Thursday in Maryland.

Anderson says if someone does confide in you about an abusive relationship listen and be patient and try to avoid taking control. Anderson says empower them to take the next step.

"It’s always best doing that with the person. So, can we call the police together? Can we call your mom so you can get out of this situation?"

She also cautions people not to judge those struggling to escape an abusive relationship.

"It is not a class or poverty or a status issue, but it's an issue across the board. So, keep your eyes and ears open and stay away from those stereotypes about who this happens to."

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