General FAQs

Under South Carolina law, a victim is a person who is harmed as a result of a crime. When the victim is a minor under the age of 18 or otherwise incapacitated, the parents or legal guardians are also considered victims. When a crime results in death, the direct family members of the person who is killed are also considered victims. A perpetrator is not a victim. See S.C. Constitution Art. I § 24(c)(2).

Yes and no. The Circuit Solicitor’s Office represents all citizens, not just crime victims. Their goal is to seek justice and preserve the peace, safety, and dignity of all citizens. Sometimes crime victims’ interests differ from those of the Solicitor, and crime victims have a legal right to seek their own attorney.

SCVAN provides direct legal representation for victims of crime. This advocacy happens inside and outside of the courtroom. SCVAN attorneys assist victims during the criminal process by providing information about their rights and protecting those rights in court. In addition to victims’ rights enforcement, we take a holistic approach to legal representation and can assist and represent victims in a variety of situations including restraining orders, immigration, divorce and custody, employment law, contracts and tort.

We offer free legal services! If you are a crime victim, click here to learn about our intake process. Other organizations offering pro bono legal services include the South Carolina Bar and South Carolina Legal Services. In addition, our local resources page provides referrals.

SCVAN operates statewide. We have offices in Beaufort, Columbia, and Spartanburg, but our legal staff travels across South Carolina to meet with and represent victims of violent crime. Through our Reaching Rural Program, we have six remote Victim Rights Centers in the following Lowcountry counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper. At these centers, crime victims have access to a computer, printer, scanner, and office supplies. Additionally, we offer secure videoconferencing that allows them to have face-to-face meetings with attorneys. Victims can also use our videoconferencing platform from their smartphone, tablet, or other personal device to receive legal services.

We serve victims statewide; our three offices are located in Columbia, Spartanburg, and Beaufort.

If you know someone who could benefit from our services, refer them to our intake line (803) 509-6552 or our online intake form.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you are currently experiencing domestic violence and need help getting to safety, we strongly recommend calling the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. In addition, SCVAN provides emergency housing and financial services. The following safety planning information may be helpful.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

ONLY Victim Service Providers can request these funds from the Emergency Fund on behalf of a South Carolina crime victim. See our Emergency Fund page for more details.

Complete an intake with our legal department online or by phone at (803) 509-6552, and our team will provide guidance or a second opinion about your case.

Reach out to your victim advocate at the police department or the Solicitor’s Office. If you believe that your rights are being violated, please complete an online intake or call us.

Reach out to your victim advocate at the Solicitor’s Office for clarification and guidance.

Call your local law enforcement office or go to your nearest police station and ask to file a report. If there is an emergency, call 911.