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Knoxville domestic violence defense lawyerDomestic violence is defined as a series of patterned, abusive behaviors against a partner or family member. These patterns can range from physical violence to emotional and mental abuse. In Tennessee, domestic violence and abuse include intentionally inflicting physical harm or pain or threatening to inflict harm on a spouse, partner, or family member. Understanding the differences between domestic violence and other violent charges can be confusing, and those accused of violent crimes may feel unsure about their next steps. Here are five frequently asked questions about handling a domestic violence accusation in Tennessee.

How Common is Domestic Violence in Tennessee?

According to a 2021 report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, there were 69,385 criminal offenses linked to or reported as domestic violence cases in the state in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, domestic violence cases rose by approximately 2.6%. The report states that most domestic violence cases in Tennessee were between boyfriends and girlfriends.

What is the Difference Between Battery and Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence and battery charges include instances of an individual inflicting intentional physical harm on another person. However, the term battery is a broad account of various types of assault, while domestic violence includes violence that occurs within someone’s immediate domestic circle.

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Knoxville criminal defense for those Accused of Domestic ViolenceThe statistics of domestic violence are alarming. It is estimated that one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence. In Tennessee, almost half of all crimes are domestic violence related. Tennessee also ranks in the top 10 states in the U.S. for women killed by men.

In an effort to help combat these numbers, Tennessee lawmakers have passed a new bill that will require all licensed beauty professionals in the state to undergo one hour of anti-domestic violence training.

HB 120/SB 216

Similar beauty professional domestic violence training laws have been enacted in a handful of states already. The relationship between a beauty professional and a client is often an intimate one, with clients having the comfort level of sharing personal information with the professional. In many domestic violence situations, the abuser has isolated the victim from their friends and family, yet still allows the victim to visit their hair salon, nail salon, barber, etc. That professional may be one of the only outside contacts the victim has.

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Knoxville, TN criminal defense attorney domestic violence

Since March, Americans have been asked to stay home as much as possible and wear masks and practice social distancing in public. Like many states, Tennessee enacted a stay-at-home order in response to the impending threat of COVID-19. Tennessee alone has had 123,489 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the virus first came to the United States six months ago. In order to address these high numbers and a lack of vaccinations, Tennessee Gov. Lee has extended its State of Emergency orders to keep Tennesseans out of public spaces and in the safety of their own homes. To some, this safety is even more sparse under their own roof. With more and more people staying in closed quarters, Tennessee has seen an increase in domestic violence against partners, spouses, and children. With domestic violence numbers on the uptick, working with a reputable criminal defense attorney has never been more important.

Domestic Abuse Reports in Tennessee

Close-quarters and a reduced chance of physical abuse marks being seen in public have led to another epidemic that is happening behind closed doors. According to reports from the Tennessean newspaper, one domestic violence hotline saw a 31 percent increase between March 1-30 in the number of calls received when compared to the previous year. Calls to hotlines are not the only evidence of this rise in domestic violence. Chattanooga itself saw a 24 percent increase in domestic violence reports to police during this same time period. Living under one roof is not the only reason for this change in numbers. Recent studies have shown that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger, and substance abuse has increased as a result of the mandatory quarantine. Mental health difficulties can transform into physical abuse that is inflicted on those who are in close proximity.

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