What Is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is defined as any pattern of behavior intended to control or intimidate an intimate partner, child, or other member of the household. This pattern of behavior is not limited to physical abuse; domestic violence extends to sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic abuse. Abuse usually begins with behavior that may be easily dismissed and forgiven by the victim. The abuser will often apologize frequently and explain that their behavior is coming from a place of love. However, the behavior continues and may escalate.
Who Is Affected by Domestic Abuse?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Reports are made by members of all races, genders, economic statuses, ethnicities, and sexualities. In 2020, 71.5% of all reported domestic violence victims were women. The same report specifies that the most common relationship between victim and abuser is boyfriend/girlfriend, followed by spouses.
In 2020, we saw an increase in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial and social uncertainty increased stress in many relationships. Victims of domestic violence were no longer able to go to school, work, or see friends and family outside of their homes. It became significantly less likely for third parties to notice or report suspected domestic abuse.
How Can I or Someone I Love Get Help?
There are several ways that a domestic abuse victim may seek help. If it is an emergency, the victim should call 911 and report the incident to law enforcement. In other situations, a victim may seek help through the courts or through a non-profit organization.
Orders of Protection in Tennessee
An order of protection is a legal document that offers some protection to a victim of certain types of violence. An order of protection can require the abuser to stay away from the victim, not contact the victim, forbid the abuser from obtaining a firearm, order the abuser to pay child or spousal support, and award the victim custody of any minor children or even pets. Often, a court will require the abuser to pay any court costs associated with the Order of Protection.
A victim may be granted a Temporary Order of Protection without the abuser's knowledge, although the abuser will be notified after the order has been granted. A temporary order of protection will last fifteen (15) days and may be extended by the court.
If you or someone you know may be ready to pursue an order of protection, we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your options.
Another way to seek assistance is through a local non-profit organization. The victim may call or walk into one of the offices listed below.
- YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
- Phone: (615) 269-9922
- 24- Hour Crises & Support Help Line: 1-800-334-4628
- Domestic Violence Crisis Text Line: (615) 983-5170
- 1608 Woodmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37215
- Tennessee Coalition to End and Sexual Violence
- Phone: (615) 386-9406
- 24- Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-356-6767
- 2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 425, Nashville, TN 37217
- Maury County- Center of Hope
- Office: (931) 840-0916
- 24- Hour Confidential Crisis Line: (931) 381-8580
- Williamson County- Bridges Domestic Violence Center
- Phone: (615) 599-5777
- Rutherford County- Domestic Violence Program
- Phone: (615) 896- 7377
- 1423 Kensington Square Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37130
- Sumner, Robertson, and Wilson Counties- Homesafe
- 24- Hour Domestic Violence Help Line: (615) 452-4315
- Sumner County
- 331 S. Water Ave. Gallatin, TN 37066
- (615) 452- 5439
- Robertson County
- 719 S. Main Street, Suite 106 Springfield, TN 37172
- (615) 667-0073
- Wilson County
- 107 S. Greenwood Street, Suite D Lebanon, TN 37087
- (615) 454-8149
- Davidson County- Nashville Office of Family Safety
- Montgomery and surrounding counties- SafeHouse Urban Ministries
- 24- Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: (931) 552-6900
- Phone: (931) 658- 9100
- 217 S. 3rd Street, Clarksville, TN 37040
- Dickson and surrounding counties- Women Are Safe, Inc
- Hotline: 1-800-470-1117
- Office: (931) 729-9885
- Email: [email protected]
- Cheatham County- Safe Haven- Courtney's House
- 24- Hour Help Line for Survivors: (615) 681-5863
- Phone: (615) 746- 7099