Lynn Carlisle was a well-respected, beloved artist when her ex-husband Craig Jarvis shot her to death at her Cherry Hills Drive home on May 17.

Brandi Jordan was living with the man who murdered her by shooting her once in the chest on July 7, 2010; she was 23.

October is National Domestic Awareness Month, and today a bell will ring out for each 2011 South Carolina victim at the 15th annual Silent Witness Ceremony.

To represent their loved ones, family members, friends or volunteers will carry life-size silhouettes of the victims and one for potential victims to Columbia’s State House’s south steps at 11 a.m.

Attorney General Alan Wilson will read each victim’s name and story; survivors, advocates and officials will speak on the problems of domestic violence. Bill Taylor, House representative from District 86, will attend the event for the first time this year.

“South Carolina has the dubious distinction of being ranked No. 2 among states in domestic violence per capita,” he said. “That’s unacceptable. We must continue to draw attention and help curb this senseless crime.”

South Carolina jumped from seventh to second in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men from domestic disputes. All the victims knew their attackers, according to the September Violence Policy Center report.

“It is often said that a society can be judged by the way it treats its animals and pets,” Taylor said. “Shouldn’t the same be said of the way we treat our spouses? For me, that is the ultimate standard for a moral society.”

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office sponsors the event every year.

More than 40 victims were commemorated last year, including Jordan. This year’s numbers and names cannot be released until after the ceremony, Mark Powell, Attorney General’s office communications director, said.

The event is open to the public.

For Aiken County, the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons is a place to turn for counseling and resources for victims and their families.

The Aiken Standard’s archives can be searched for more information on Carlisle, Jordan and last year’s ceremony.