Over the last three years, reports of domestic violence in Tennessee have decreased by 8 percent according to a new study from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The study reports almost 80,000 instances of domestic violence were reported in 2013, down from 85,346 in 2011. But these numbers could actually be far larger. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, only one quarter of domestic assaults are reported to police and only 20 percent of rapes against women by intimate partners are reported.
TBI spokesman Josh DeVine says good relationships with local law enforcement officials are key to increasing reports.
“When people feel like they can trust investigators and speak to them about these types of crimes, they’re going to step forward,” DeVine said.
The report finds that women were almost three times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than men.
There were 288 instances of domestic violence that led to murder/non-negligent homicides during the three-year period.
“This is a crime that goes on far too often in our communities and we acknowledge that,” DeVine said. “We really want this [study] to become a resource for communities, for citizens, for law enforcement departments, for government officials to really say, ‘Look, domestic violence, sadly, is still a big issue in Tennessee and we need to do something to address it. We need to do better’.”