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Women's Care

Domestic Violence

  • Do things at home ever get too hot to handle?
  • Do you ever feel unsafe in your own home?
  • Do you ever feel like you need to leave?
  • Do you ever get hurt if dinner is late?
  • Does any of this sound familiar?

You are not alone and it’s not your fault. Help is available.

If you are being abused...

It is important to know that abuse can happen to anyone - rich or poor, from any religious, racial, or ethnic background and any educational level.  You do not have to be married to be abused. You may be hurt or frightened by your spouse or significant other, someone you have dated, a lover, a relative or just someone you know.

As you read this, you may feel confused, sad, angry or even a bit ashamed.

You are not alone!

What happened to you is, unfortunately, very common. Domestic violence happens to all kinds of people, from all walks of life: waitresses, celebrities, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, etc. This problem also affects the young and elderly.

Breaking out of the cycle of violence is often difficult. You may still care very much for this person and hope they will change.

Domestic violence does not go away on its own. It tends to get worse and more frequent with time, and the effects on your children from witnessing the violence can be devastating.

What You Should Do

  • If at a hospital or clinic, let the medical staff know about the abuse and/or that you were injured by someone you know. Request a copy of the medical report before you leave.
  • Discuss the abuse with friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers.
  • Develop a safety plan, and find someone who can help you in an emergency. They may be able to store extra sets of items you will need if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • If you have called the police you have the right to file a report with the police, even if the abuser has fled from the scene. Request one from the officer, and be sure to get the number of the report.
  • If you do not call the police, make an incident report at your local police station.
  • Have someone take photos of ALL injuries.

There are people who can help you . . .
If you want to begin talking about your situation, need a safe place to stay, or want legal advice . . .
Help is available, do not wait!

Where you can go for help
For information about shelter, transportation to safety, legal advocacy, counseling and support groups, call one of the Nashville area domestic agencies:

The Domestic Violence Unit
(615) 880-3000
Women Are Safe, Inc.
(800) 470-1117

YWCA Domestic Violence Center
(615) 242-1199 or (800) 334-4628

Domestic Violence Program
(615) 896-2032 24 Hour Crisis Line

Tennessee Adult Protective Services
(888) 277-8366

Morning Star Shelter
(615) 860-0003
Rape Recovery and Prevention Center
(615) 494-9262 24 Hr Crisis Line
Tennessee Child Protective Services
(877) 237-0004


15 Signs Someone Might Be Dangerous
Do they do one or more of these things? Then it’s time for you to get help or get out.

  • Quick involvement
    Wants a commitment early
  • You are always wrong
    Repeatedly explains to you why you are wrong
  • Cruel to children and animals
    Excessive punishment, even to point of killing animals
  • Isolation
    Cuts you off from others
  • Says hurtful things to you
    Is critical of you and/or calls you disrespectful names
  • ​​Expects children to do things beyond their abilities
    Even teases them to the point of tears
  • Blames others for problems
    Everything is always someone else’s fault
  • Expects you to be perfect
    Leaves no room for mistakes or human error
  • Inappropriate sexual demand or expectations
    Asks you to do things during sex that are uncomfortable to you
  • Gets upset easily
    Little things affect his/her mood
  • Sudden mood changes
    Switches from loving to mad in minutes
  • ​​“Behind Closed Doors”
    Treats you differently in public than “behind closed doors”
  • Controlling behavior
    Wants to control you, subtly or otherwise
  • Threatens you
    Apologizes later or says he/she was just teasing and didn’t mean it
  • Speaks disrespectfully of women/men
    Including women/men on TV, past relationships, in general


Domestic Violence can occur in any relationship.