Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The last thing a victim may want to do after witnessing or surviving a crime is to have to call multiple departments trying to get the counseling or services they need.
Under the new SC Crime Victim Services Act, victim services will be consolidated under the Attorney General's office to provide more of a one-stop shop for those in need of the programs.
"Before, we had a number of different programs, a number of different agencies all administering these programs for victims and it was really confusing," said South Carolina state senator Vincent Sheheen. "Victims might go to one office to try to get some cash assistance, they might go to another to get counseling; it was hard to find who to talk to."
Sheheen says the process was too complicated for those who may have already been through a lot.
"It's not fair on victims when they're suffering emotional trauma to have them running around to different state agencies, different offices, different places to try to get the help that they need," Sheheen said.
With reports ranking South Carolina amongst the worst in country for women killed by men, Sheheen says we've got to get this right.
"It's a shameful statistic, but it's one that we need to look at, face up to, and try to provide services like this and make it easy on those victims to be able to access them," Sheheen said.
The new act will take effect on July 1st.