- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell says preventing domestic violence will be a top priority for the House next year.

Harrell announced Wednesday the creation of a 10-member bipartisan committee that will meet over the off-session with the intention of introducing proposals when legislators return in January.

South Carolina consistently reports high rates of domestic violence incidents.

The latest report by the Violence Policy Center ranks South Carolina first in the country in the rate of women killed by men.

The House committee will be chaired by Republican Rep. Shannon Erickson of Beaufort. Other members include Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, who has long advocated for anti-domestic violence measures.

The Legislature failed to pass several proposals this year aimed at stemming abuse.

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