Nashville Hires Domestic Violence Coordinator - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Hires Domestic Violence Coordinator

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville has hired a Domestic Violence Coordinator as part of the recommendations from an assessment aimed at closing safety gaps for victims, Mayor Karl Dean announced Wednesday morning.

Whitney McFalls, an advocate at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, will start on October 14.

The hiring is one of nine central goals and recommendations from Metro's Domestic Violence Safety Assessment, which was released Wednesday at a press conference with Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson, District Attorney General Torry Johnson, and numerous others. Both men discussed the ways their departments have already begun implementing some of the recommendations.

McFalls will work toward the goal of creating a family justice center model for Nashville, another one of the report's nine goals and recommendations. She will also work toward the goal of an integrated data collection system, standardized training for Metro employees that work with domestic violence victims and increasing victim services and advocacy at court.

The position is being funded for three years by a state grant.

"As we follow through on the recommendations in this assessment, we are already improving the coordinated community response to domestic violence and better protecting victims and their children," Mayor Dean said. "I appreciate the hard work of everyone on the Assessment Team and the cooperation they received from the Metro departments and agencies that were being assessed."

The assessment was undertaken to explore ways to reduce domestic violence homicides and identify how Metro Government can increase victim safety and offender accountability.

The Assessment Team, comprised of more than 100 community members and Metro employees, examined the entire process a domestic violence victim goes through -- starting with the initial call to 911 and through arrest, prosecution, court and post-court -- and offered 46 stage-by-stage goals and recommendations.

A report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released Tuesday said cases of domestic violence have declined 3.4 percent over the past three years.

However, police said almost half of the crime in the state last year had some type of tie to domestic violence.

More than a year ago, Sue Garay's daughter was murdered by her husband inside a dental office in Green Hills.

Garay says more needs to be done to get the victim away from the abuser.

"If you're in this situation talk to someone you can trust. Your mother, dad, brother, sister, a good friend, somebody that can help you," she said.

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