The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic violence, also termed intimate partner violence, as “felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction . . ., or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.” 1

Domestic violence affects millions of people in the United States each year. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reveals the stark realities of domestic violence:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men report having experienced physical violence, contact sexual violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime and reported some form of intimate partner violence related impact;

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime;

  • 10% of women and 2% of men report having been stalked by an intimate partner;

  • About 1 in 5 women and 1 in 12 men have experienced contact sexual violence by an intimate partner;

  • Over 43 million women and 38 million men report having experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime;

  • About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18 2

Such acts of violence are used by one partner over another to maintain power and control in an intimate relationship. The Power & Control Wheel (see below) created by the Domestic Abuse Intervention project provides a visual depiction of the varied tactics used by abusive partners to maintain this power imbalance in the relationship. Please note that while this wheel uses she/her pronouns to describe the victim, domestic violence does not discriminate and anyone of any sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, culture, religion, socieoeconomic status, or education level can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence.

With great appreciation to our esteemed colleagues at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for creating and sharing this production, through interviews with members of the legal community, the following video provides an insider’s perspective on the unique and often daunting challenges faced by domestic violence victims and how you can get involved and make a difference.

West Tennessee Legal Services has generously shared the following resources for victims of domestic violence. We urge you to take some time to review and consider the following materials:
Additional Resources:

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence there are many local resources available to help:




Public Law 115-237 POWER Act
Office of Violence Against Women: Domestic Violence
Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: How big is the problem?
The Duluth Model

In the event of an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or contact state or local law enforcement.