New domestic violence shelter opening in Georgetown County

For the first time in almost a year, victims of domestic violence will have a place of safety in Georgetown County.

Vicki Bourus, co-executive director of The Family and Justice Center of Georgetown County, doesn't want to reveal the location of the home, so she released pictures of the new shelter.

The Family and Justice Center of Georgetown County says the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office ranks 9th in the state in responses to calls of domestic violence.

"And at that point in time, when that relationship has become so violent that her life is in danger, without shelter, there's no way to really save that life," Bourus said.

The previous shelter shut down in June 2012. Since then, the Family and Justice Center has taken over ownership.

The new shelter, which is set to open the third week of April, has four bedrooms, three for victims and one for staff.

There are eleven beds available, and the house is fully furnished.

The shelter will have staff on-site 24/7.

"We hope to be able to give them the tools that they need that if they are ready to structure an independent life, they'll be able to do it," said Beverly Kennedy, co-executive director.

Bourus added creating this shelter was a lot more than just giving victims a place to sleep.

"We need to be able to provide them not only with a bed, but with food and clothing and counseling and all services that are needed," said Bourus.

But Kennedy says even more important than providing shelter is being able to educate people on the dangers of domestic violence.

"I think we have to have a change of attitude as communities that it's just wrong for one person to abuse another," Kennedy says.