October 2019 Newsletter


NEWSLETTER / October 2019

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) is a non-profit law firm. We provide free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. Our mission is to provide legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low income South Carolinians.

LGBTQ+ Issues and Resources in South Carolina

The history of the LGBTQ+ community is one that is long and rocky, filled with the struggles of people who even today are having to fight for their rights. Fortunately, at the local levels, legal aid organizations like South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) are there to handle specifics that one may not even consider at first: name and gender changes on birth certificates, marriage licenses, adoption and divorce.


Bullying Prevention Month

Bullying is any act intended or that should be reasonably intended to hurt or harm another person that is usually repeated or occurs more than once. Unfortunately, society seems to reserve the term bullying for behavior associated with youth.  However, bullying can be found in relationships of all ages and in all social groups.  Adults can be victims of bullying and harassment in many settings: online, at home, at school and at work.  We can identify some forms of bullying as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment, racial discrimination. 


Help for Victims of Domestic Violence

A few weeks ago, a man was charged with a double homicide in Sumter, South Carolina.  The man was accused of killing a woman he was involved in a romantic relationship with.  In a different case, a woman in Richland County was charged with murder.  She had allegedly stabbed her boyfriend. Police had responded to 52 calls for service from the couple’s residence in 2019. In thinking about these horrific tragedies, I ponder if these people would be alive today if something had been done differently? 


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Every week during the month, SCLS has been releasing a video addressing some of the most common issue facing survivors of domestic violence.

Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders – what is the difference and which one is right for you? LEARN MORE

Custody – who gets custody and how does the court decide what’s in the best interest of the child? LEARN MORE

Divorce – what are the grounds for divorce and how to get a divorce on the grounds of physical cruelty? LEARN MORE

We’re excited to share with you this exciting news. SCLS is getting a new technology grant from Legal Services Corporation that will allow us to develop additional Online Classrooms in our continuous effort to bring access to civil legal justice to all South Carolinians. We currently have Classrooms on Consumer, Family, Employment, Probate and Housing law. The new Classrooms will focus on eviction, expungement, foreclosure, heir’s property, education rights and debt collection.


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. South Carolina. Every year, South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) staff members participate in a variety of local activities to raise awareness to the issue of domestic violence and help survivors. This year was no exception. From donating money and goods to attending vigils and outreach events, our staff was united in the efforts to stomp out domestic violence. Here is a small photo report of these activities.



Domestic Violence

  • Securing Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders for victims of domestic violence
  • Increasing safety and security for children of domestic violence survivors
  • Assisting survivors escape abusive relationships and ensuring safe housing during the transition
  • Ensuring domestic violence survivors have a voice in custody and marital dissolution cases

Disaster Relif

  • Advocating for homeowners and tenants affected by natural disasters to get the assistance they need
  • Helping victims of disasters appeal denial of public benefits for disaster relief
  • Assisting with clearing up title to homes to qualify for disaster recovery repair programs
  • Educating disaster survivors about their rights and options