Tennessee domestic violence laws plentiful but resources lacking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Domestic violence prevention advocates said the prior actions of a man who Metro police shot at an Antioch townhome were red flags for the escalation that ultimately occurred Tuesday morning.

The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is an advocacy organization for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“The best predictor of future violence is past violence,” executive director Kathy England Walsh said. “Whenever she tried to get away his violence escalated.”

Walsh said the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they make the decision to leave their abuser.

Tennessee has enacted a number of laws to protect victims, including one that requires someone under a protective order to surrender their weapons.

But Walsh said the state laws are not enough.

“In Tennessee we are good at passing laws dealing with domestic violence,” she said. “But what we need are resources.”

In September domestic violence counts surveyed all of Tennessee’s 33 domestic violence programs.

On just one day there were 1,094 victims served in Tennessee, but the survey found 698 unmet requests for services.

Of those requests for help 43 percent involved requests for housing.

“We have to focus on prevention and holding offenders accountable,” Walsh said. “If someone will violate a protective order that shows they are not afraid of the law or respect the law.”

In Guirguis’ case, his charges for violating a protective order were retired.

According to the criminal court clerk’s office, that means the charges were dropped pending him not being arrested during a prescribed length of time.

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