That’s how many domestic violence crimes were reported in Tennessee in 2017. We can do better. We must do better.

Part of the purpose of the Scott County Family Justice Center is to advocate a zero-tolerance policy of all forms of interpersonal violence and drive social change through aggressive community education and collaboration.

We can only accomplish change if we’re aware. Yes, domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence and elder abuse are all happening in our community — often to those we know.

In fiscal year 2016-2017, there were 407 domestic violence calls to law enforcement in Scott County — an average of 34 per month, or more than 1 per day! The District Attorney’s office prosecuted 148 cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse in Scott County that year. The Scott County Shelter Society provided 2,491 nights of sleep to 223 clients (adults and their children) and had 477 contacts with adult clients from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Sadly, 27 members of our community have lost their lives to domestic violence in the past 35 years. That’s far too many!

Statewide, there were 77,846 incidents of domestic violence or sexual assault in 2017, including more than 63,500 assaults, nearly 10,500 acts of intimidation, more than 1,000 kidnappings and more than 1,600 sexual assaults, ranging from rape to fondling. Eighty-one people lost their lives to domestic violence in 2017, including 52 women and 29 men.

Domestic violence impacts all of us — in our homes, in our places of work, in our schools. Nearly three out of four of us know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. It’s time to break the cycle.

The prevalence of domestic violence

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. That’s more than 10 million people per year. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 1 in 4 women experience severe physical violence, sexual violence or stalking — and 1 in 7 women have been injured by an intimate partner.

It’s having an impact on our families. As many as 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence each year, and 90 percent of those children are eyewitnesses to the violence. Those children often suffer from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems — including nightmares and bedwetting, increased aggression and changes in appetite. They tend to lose interest in school and friends, spend more time alone, get into fights and bully other children.

It’s having an impact on our economy. Victims of domestic violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year, and the cost of domestic violence exceeds $8.3 billion each year. Between 2 and 6 of every 10 victims of domestic violence lose their jobs for reasons stemming from the abuse.

» Sexual Assault Awareness Month: April  |  » Domestic Violence Awareness Month: October  |  » Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: February

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