Domestic violence remains a concern for Upper Cumberland residents.
That according to the Executive Director of the Avalon Center, Rachel Bruning.
TBI released the 2017 Annual Domestic Violence Report yesterday. The report said Tennessee saw a 1.8 percent decrease in reported domestic violence cases.
“I would say consistently, the clients we have seen over the year has stayed steady or even increased. I think the other thing to note about this is the TBI’s crime statistics about domestic assault cases,” Bruning said. “Tennessee still remains fourth in the nation for domestic violence homicide, where women are killed by their intimate partner.”
Bruning said she believes the 1.8 percent decrease is minimal.
According to the report, Simple Assault accounted for the largest amount of domestic violence offenses last year.
“That is generally categorized as a person who assaults a person with no relationship to them. Sometimes what we do see though as the person who is the victim or even the perpetrator didn’t maybe identify that relationship,” Bruning said. “Or law enforcement wasn’t privy to the relationship knowledge. So sometimes there is a miscategorization that can occur.”
Bruning said the Avalon typically does not deal with Simple Assault.
TBI reported females were three times as likely to be victimized than males.
“I think consistently, women are a little bit more apt to be victims and that is why people predominately talk about women as the victim,” Bruning said. “But we serve all types of survivors in our program.”
Bruning said she hopes for change in 2018 regarding domestic violence.
“The more we work within our community and our collaborators and we push for that this is an issue and that this deserves attention and it is not behind closed doors in the traditional problem is has always been looked at,” Bruning said. “The more we are going to work together, collaboratively, to really offer options and resources and solutions to this issue.”
Safety options are available to survivors of domestic violence. Receiving help is a matter of just asking for help, Bruning said.
“I think the most important thing for someone you suspect that a loved one or a family member or friend is experiencing power-based violence is to really be supportive,” Bruning said. ” So really I think it is important to connect those people to the resources where we, who are specially trained in this, can talk to them about what their options are.”
If you or someone else you know is dealing with domestic violence, call the Avalon Center 24/7 hotline.
The Avalon Center is located in Crossville.