Domestic Violence is on the rise in Tennessee


    "It's a domestic type violence, workplace violence, he knew where he was going and entered the business with the intent of harm," says Sheriff Jeff Cassidy of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

    In Tennessee the number of domestic violence cases have increased in the past two years.

    In 2017 the National Violence Policy Center reported the state in the Top 10 of those where women are more likely to be murdered by their partners.

    Last year, Tennessee was ranked in the Top 5.

    The study also says about 86 percent of domestic violence victims are murdered by their partners as they try to leave or shortly there after.

    "Domestic violence is all about power and control and when that person feels like that, and the defender feels like they are lose that control that's when they act," says Mariah Sybert of the Sullivan County Family Justice Center.

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations reports 96 percent of women who were murdered in Tennessee knew their offender, and 76 percent of those women were in some sort of domestic relationships before their murder.

    Licence therapist Kyleigh Bright says many women stay in these relationships because they are made to feel they have to by the abuser.

    "They use stalking and intimidation to lure the survivor back into a relationship with them because they also created the narrative that this world without me is dangerous and I, meaning the abuser, can protect you," says Bright.

    There are many outside organizations that help those and their families in domestic violence situations.

    The Branch House in Sullivan County is not only confidential and will set you up with a licensed therapist, but also gets you the legal paperwork and the help that you need for free.

    "In this particular situation, in the past maybe she didn't feel like she couldn't file or didn't know how to file an order of protection and so I think that's a neat thing about Branch House to get the word out that there is a resource for those in this situation," says paralegal Holly Trivette.

    The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, TBI and the district attorney is still investigating the shooting.

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