Study: Domestic Violence Makes Up More Than Half Of Reported Crimes Against Persons

Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 20:16:06-04

At the YWCA, Tracy DeTomasi has helped lead Domestic Violence Services. 

"We have been beyond capacity. We often have to turn people away because we don't have enough beds in our shelter," she explained. "One in four women experience domestic violence every year, and 15.5 million children witness it."

Those numbers were backed up by the TBI's annual crime report study released Thursday. In 2016, more than half -- 51.3 percent -- of all reported offenses in "crimes against persons" were related to domestic violence.

Read the full report from the TBI by clicking here.

Domestic abuse, according to DeTomasi, has still been considered a heavily under-reported crime.

"Victims are scared, they're scared of what happens. Most of the time offenders will threaten them if they call police with their lives, the lives of their children, even with the lives of their animals," DeTomasi said. 

Tuesday's deadly shooting in Cookeville was a prime example. Police said they believe a domestic dispute led to the shooting outside of an auto parts plant which injured one and left two dead.

The incident has just been one example of domestic problems that turn deadly.

"Until we really fight this issue that will continue to happen, and a lot of victims are staying in relationships in order to not be a homicide statistic," said DeTomasi. 

She said there are signs to look out for like isolation, and keep in mind domestic abuse is not always physical, it can be financial, emotional, and psychological. 

“We need to do more work. We need to invest resources to help the victims that are coming forward. A lot of people don’t come forward because there are not enough services, especially in rural communities,” DeTomasi said.

If you'd like to reach out to the YWCA or need help, contact the 24-hour hotline number at 615-242-1199 or 1-800-334-4628.