On Your Side: Recognizing and responding to warning signs of domestic violence

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – One call to 911 is made every 30 minutes to report domestic violence. According to professionals who work with victims, the community can prevent that number from growing by understanding the warning signs of abuse and believing in victims. 

Knowing when to help

“If you’re not facing it yourself, you’re not waking up and facing this everyday. Very likely, someone who lives a few houses down from you is dealing with this situation,” said Amy Dilworth, Executive Director of the Family Justice Center

Dilworth says no two cases of domestic abuse look the same, it doesn’t discriminate. She says abuse is “asserting control,” using planned techniques of manipulation and isolation. 

Abuse can consist of, but isn’t limited to: 

  • Threatening children separation 
  • Economic Abuse 
  • Abuser privelage in a relationship
  • The victim may have a list of responsibilities, the abuser does not
  • Coersion 
  • Intimidation 
  • Emotional and verbal degregation 

“There is this emotional, verbal.. degregation that starts to happen until the victim starts to feel hopeless… like they’re crazy,” said Dilworth. 

The mechanisms of control, according to Dilworth, are not accidental, but rather, put in place intentionally. 

Where to find help

Local resources are available for victims, and for those that believe they know a victim, to receive help. 

The Family Justice Center in Knox County provides resources 24/7 through a violence helpline, 865-521-6336. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Information can be found online here. The website includes an option to quickly leave the website by clicking on the “X” icon on the screen or by pressing the escape key twice. 

The Tennessee Coalition for Domestic Abuse provides specific help for victims in Tennessee and is involved in public advocacy in support of abuse victims. The 24-hour, state-wide Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-356-6767

Office Hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday – Thursday. 

Iva’s Place is an organization providing immediate assistance for victims, the organization is located in Lenoir City. The organization will work with victims to find temporary placement in a safe haven, then connect to permenant housing and therapy. 

Iva’s Place can be reached by phone (865) 816-3481

“To be in a situation where they’re heard and respected and cared for. It’s amazing the transition they make when they’re just believed in,” said Chris Longmire, Executive Director for Iva’s Place. 

Statistics of Domestic Violence 

  • 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence
  • 1 in 13 men experience domestic violence 
  • 1,500 cases are reported to the Knox County Family Justice Center every year 
  • In 2018, the Knox County Family Justice Center reported 1,553 children that were residents of a home with some kind of domestic abuse. 

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