SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's Attorney General took part in a candlelight vigil Monday in honor of those who have suffered and died as a result of domestic violence.
Dozens of people packed Summerville's Hutchinson Square as victims shared their incredible stories of survival and led a silent march in memory of those who were killed.
"We can prosecute and detain the people who perpetrate this type of crime all day long, but that's treating the symptom, not the cause," says Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Wilson was the keynote speaker at the event, which has been organized by several sororities. Currently, South Carolina ranks second in the nation, behind Alaska, for the amount of homicides caused by criminal domestic violence.
"Back in the old days, domestic violence was considered a personal matter, and it stayed in the shadows. We want to bring it into the sunlight. We want to have an open, frank discussion with the community."
"It's a silent crime," explains organizer Alexandria Watson. Things happen to women. Things happen to children, and they're afraid to speak up. So, our point here is to make sure that we give them an avenue and give them resources so they can reach out."
Wilson says domestic violence is often a learned behavior. He believes to break the cycle, the conversation must begin in elementary and middle schools.
"We talk to our children about Internet safety. We talk to our children about gang violence. We talk to our children about drinking under the age or driving under the influence. Are we having a frank conversation with children in schools?"