NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Domestic violence in Tennessee is a constant struggle, as the state continues to rank in the top 10 with the most reports. Over the years, nonprofit organizations have been working hard to help those wanting to get out.
“For the past couple of years, we’ve seen about on average 150 to 200 survivors on that list every single month in need of housing, but currently there are 390 survivors that are on that list,” explained Mary Katherine Rand, Executive Director at The Mary Parrish Center.
Rand explained November marks as being the highest month so far this year for people needing a safe home to escape to after being in a high-risk domestic situation.
“We are really seeing higher call volumes. We operate Nashville’s coordinated entry line for survivors, and so we are just seeing more and more survivors calling in, looking for housing,” Rand said.
The Mary Parrish Center, created in 2009, was created after years of frustration in an attempt to help survivors find safe and affordable housing.
In the most recent case, November marks one year since an Antioch woman was shot and killed while at her father’s home. Police say that’s where her ex violated an order of protection filed against him, shooting Michaela Carter. Officers were at the home just 10 minutes after she called 911. Carter claimed her ex was near the apartment with a gun and was sending disturbing messages.
Oftentimes, finding safe and affordable housing can be one of the most difficult parts of leaving a violent situation.
“One hundred percent of those that we are serving right now, are saying things like they believe that their abusive is capable of killing them,” said Rand. She explained domestic violence is a topic most people shy away from talking about, but hearing success stories from those who now work with the center.
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According to the YWCA, in Tennessee, three women are killed each day by a man who says he loves her. The Marry Parrish Center provides housing for those most at-risk.
Every 20 minutes, Metro police respond to a domestic violence call, each phone call represents someone in need of dire help.
“Last year, we served over 4,000 clients, and last year we provided 30,000 safety enhancements, we do see that our client numbers are going up, so a lot of people need these services,” said Allison Cantway with the Metro Family Safety Center.
The Metro Family Safety Center serves as a safe place for those willing to talk about a topic that is often hidden behind closed doors, some of them even coming from across district lines.
“We do have people come from out of the county often, people come from out of state pretty regularly, we have people from all the country who come here, who call to speak to one of our advocates or use our live chat feature on our website,” said Cantway.
The center is open 24/7 for people needing help. If you are in danger, need to speak to an advocate, or have general questions about domestic violence, you can call YWCA’s 24-hour Crisis & Support Helpline: at 1-800-334-4628 or TEXT us at 615-983-5170.