OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
The family and friends of Desheena Kyle friends and family say they may have seen the signs of an abusive relationship before Desheena disappeared.
Thursday, John Bassett, Kyle’s ex-boyfriend, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in connection to the death of Kyle. This, after she had gone missing for three months.
According to a police report, Bassett had been accused of domestic assault against Kyle prior to her death. Kyle told an officer Bassett hit her, and broke the driver’s side window of her car. Bassett was never convicted and the case was dismissed in December 2014.
Stories like that are familiar to employees at the Tennessee Valley YWCA. They offer domestic violence services to women across East Tennessee.
“We are constantly getting referrals constantly having clients come to us with needs as far as advocacy or housing or childrens advocacy,” said Lauren Lindback, director of victim services.
With October being domestic Violence Awareness Month, this is the time the organization really focuses on advocacy, and helping the community recognize the signs of abuse.
“Some signs you can look for are definitely isolation,” Lindback said. “If a family member starts isolating themselves from friends and family. Somebody who may have talked openly about their relationship in the past but all of a sudden they no longer want to talk about their relationship.
“Then of course you’ve got those physical signs. Bruises, marks scratches things like that.”
Abuse doesn’t always show itself right away, but experts say if you see something, you should pull that person aside and make sure they’re OK no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may be.
“I think if we can get more comfortable with being uncomfortable, then we’re going to see a lot of lives saved,” Lindback said.
The YWCA’s work will continue with the help of the government. Earlier this month, the YWCA of Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley received $475,000 to further their transitional housing assistance program for victims of domestic violence.
The grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will go towards resources like financial education, parenting education, and support groups.
If you or someone you know needs help, the Tennessee Valley YWCA offers domestic violence services to women and families in Knox, Anderson, Loudon, and Roane Counties. Information is available 24 hours a day, by calling (865) 523-6126.
- Knoxville Family Justice Center- 865-521-6336
- SafeSpace of East Tennessee (Offices in Sevierville, Dandridge, and Newport)
- Sevierville Office: 865-453-9254 Dandridge Office: 865-397-8546 Newport Office: 423-237-6626