NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- In Tennessee, the numbers tell a dark story, but often times there’s a light in the form of hope. October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This state is ranked as having one of the highest homicide rates for women killed by men.
“I have been a survivor for 14 years,” said Susanne Post.
Post now considers it a privilege to tell her story and help others find the courage to tell theirs. After going through her own domestic violence relationship, she continues to tell her story.
“Just even recognizing what it was, was probably the biggest hurdle in me making a different choice or getting out of that relationship, and I will say it was one step in front of another. One day at a time,” Post said. “It’s so isolating when you’re in it, I think when you’re in it, you often feel like you’re alone and that there is no hope on the other side of it.”
Owner of the Sine Salon, Post has been working in the hair care industry for years. Now, she has combined her job with a message by advocating for hairdressers and barbers’ training to recognize the signs of domestic violence.
Tennessee has joined a growing list of states to require cosmetologists and barbers to be trained in domestic violence.
During an interview with Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dowdy, he explained how prevalent the problem is in Nashville. Dowdy said, “The Metro Nashville Police Department is getting calls on domestic violence cases about once every 20 minutes. To date, we’ve had 15,000 reports to the police.”
Tennessee has one of the highest homicide rates in the nation for women killed by men. The latest Violence Policy Center report found Tennessee ranks as the 7th most deadly state for women, tied with Georgia.
“That tells me we have a lot of work to do. First of all, we’re glad that more and more people are reporting these instances because there’s an understanding that they can receive help from the community such as YWCA, but more importantly, to open everyone’s eyes to understanding what is going on possibly in their own family,” explained Sharon Roberson, President & CEO of the YWCA.
The YWCA focuses on giving a voice to women who believe they have no voice. The organization focuses on women and girls who wish to have a better quality of life for themselves and their families, in the hopes of ending violence.
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“It’s literally about saving lives, we are literally saving lives, because but for the YWCA shelter, lives would be lost, and unless people are aware when you see something, understand how you go about saying something or doing something,” said Roberson.
One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse in her lifetime. Metro police receive more than 22,000 domestic violence reports each year.
“Think of four women you know and do the math. The likelihood of one of those women being a victim of domestic violence is very, very high,” said Roberson.
The YWCA has been helping women across Middle Tennessee find their strengths and their voice.
The Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hosting the 18th Meet Us at the Bridge ceremony on the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Fourteen people, including three children, will be honored and a single purple rose for each victim will be dropped into the Cumberland River.
The event will be held on Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m.- 10 a.m. at the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, Parking Lot R Nissan Stadium.