By Don A. Layton
Domestic violence is a crime which strikes at the very fabric of our communities. As the family has evolved into a hodgepodge of relationships, domestic violence has increased.
Laws have been passed to prevent and punish domestic violence offenders, including federal laws such as the Violence Against Women Act. State laws have created special provisions for domestic violence in TCA 39-13-111. Civil protection has been provided in the Protective Order Procedure found in TCA 36-3-601.
Notwithstanding the best efforts of law enforcement and the legal system, domestic violence remains a serious problem for our community, state, and nation.
In Tennessee, 68.4 percent of all domestic assaults are simple assaults. This means 31.6 percent are of a more violent nature.
In Tennessee, females are 71.8 percent likely to be the victim of domestic violence.
The most frequently reported incidents are between boyfriend and girlfriend at 45.2 percent.
In the case of people who are married or ex-spouses, you are six times more likely to be abused by a spouse rather than ex-spouse.
In an effort to assist with community awareness, a Domestic Violence Symposium will be held this week.
I encourage everyone to become aware of those individuals in our community who are subject to the demeaning, harm, and danger of domestic violence. We should provide them with full protection of the law and help those offenders who want help with their propensity to violence with appropriate rehabilitation.
I encourage everyone to be vigilant to this serious problem. While this may not stop the course of domestic violence, we may lessen the adverse impact on our community.
Don A. Layton is Anderson County General Sessions Court Judge, Division I, in Clinton.