October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month banner hangs outside the YWCA in Nashville.

NASHVILLE, TN — The latest report from The Violence Policy Center ranks Tennessee 10th in the nation for the rate that men kill women. The annual report, released just days before Domestic Violence Awareness Month, found that nearly 1,800 women nationwide were murdered by men in 2019. In Tennessee, the study found that 60 women were murdered by men and 84 percent of these homicides were committed by someone they knew. YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has spent the last four decades on the frontlines of the domestic violence epidemic, offering shelter, services, and support to victims and their families.

YWCA Director of Community Engagement Allison Adams, left, and Director of Donor Relations Cathy Kaiser, right, and Sr. Manager for Social Justice and Advocacy Amber Hale background and hand with ribbons help tie ribbons on the trees and branches at the YWCA main offices on Woodmont Blvd.

This October, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) with activities to educate the community about the crisis of domestic abuse. One in four women and one in seven men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. One in 15 children will be a witness to abuse. Children who witness abuse are more likely to be in an abusive relationship when they grow up.

“Everyone needs to know the facts about domestic violence,” said Sharon K. Roberson, President and CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee. “We’ve been doing this work for over four decades, and we can’t do it alone. We need the entire community to join us and work together to help break the cycle of abuse and save lives.” 

Each week in October, YWCA will share information and resources for individuals to learn more and help us amplify our message. Follow us on our social media channels @YWCANashville on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter and share our stories.  You can also find detailed information on our website.

Sharon K. Roberson, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee president and CEO is tying ribbons on a tree at t he YWCA main offices on Woodmont Blvd. Each ribbon represents the women and children who are residents of the Weaver Center each year.

REPRESENT — Wear purple or display a purple ribbon on your door, mailbox, or tree. Purple represents survival, courage, peace, and dedication to ending violence. It is a salute to survivors and those we have lost to domestic violence. Take a photo of your purple show of support, post it on social media and tag @ywcanashville  (#DVAM #EndDvNow)

EDUCATE — Domestic violence is all about power and control. It does not discriminate based on age, gender, religion, or socio economic background. Abuse can be emotional or physical or both. Learn the signs of Domestic Violence here and share with your network. 

ADVOCATE — Oct. 18-23 is the Week Without Violence, a movement with YWCAs across the country and around the world to end violence against women and girls. At YWCA, we know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally and that some victims go unrecognized or are even punished for reporting abuse. CONTACT our U.S. senators, and urge them to pass the Violence Against Women Act. Funding from VAWA helps us operate the Weaver Center.  REGISTER for our upcoming webinar – The Criminalization of Women and Girls of Color and Survivors. 

A purple bow is wrapped around a tree to mark awareness that October is Domestic Violance Month.

STRENGTHEN — To be the best advocate, you need to be your best self physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Practice self-care to both rest and strengthen your mind and body.  See more about the importance of self-care here.

YWCA is the largest provider of domestic violence services in the region, operating the 65-bed Weaver Domestic Violence Center and 24-Hour Crisis and Support Help Line and Text Line. YWCA recently opened Abbie’s Safe Home on the campus of the Weaver Center. This state-of-the-art pet shelter can house up to eight dogs and six cats at a time removing a significant barrier to safety. Re-New at the YWCA is an all-volunteer program that furnishes and decorates the new homes of survivors and their children leaving shelter. Shear Haven is an online domestic violence education program for beauty professionals. AMEND Together is the YWCA’s primary prevention initiative aimed at ending violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys to change the culture that supports violence. This program has spread to YWCA affiliates across the U.S. 

Sorting purple ribbons for the trees at the YWCA.

For 123 years, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Programs include Domestic Violence Services, Girls Inc., AMEND Together, Social Justice & Advocacy, Dress for Success and the Family Learning Center. For more information, visit https://ywcanashville.com, follow us on twitter @YWCANashville, Instagram @YWCANashvile and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/YWCANashville.