KNOXVILLE — After a deadly shooting in Crossville back in 2018, local leaders reminded potential victims of domestic violence about the many resources East Tennessee has to offer.
"We have a 24/7 crisis line, so we're able to have an advocate available at all times of the night and day," said Catherine Oaks of the Helen Ross McNabb Center.
Oaks said, recently, their hotline and sheltering services have been busier than normal.
"We are having to turn people away at shelter every day because there's just not enough space. And that's a problem across the state," she said.
According to Oaks, shelters across the state are working together to make sure no victim is refused the help they need. She said one of the first resources anyone needing help should seek is the Family Justice Center. The center offers a myriad of options including legal services, counseling and help contacting law enforcement.
Daniel Watson, executive director of The Restoration House, also recommends victims first contacting the Family Justice Center to put a plan in place.
"If this happens, what am I going to do? What are the next steps? Who am I going to call? Family members can help with that, but also the Family Justice Center can help women and others being abused develop those plans, so if something goes down, they know exactly what needs to happen."
Watson said his organization helps single parents and children get their lives back on track, but before that can happen, victims have to take the steps towards separation from their abuser. He says friends and family members need to be cognizant of the difficulties that come with taking those steps.
"The statistic is it takes seven times to leave a domestic violence situation...and if you're a family member walking through this issue with their loved one, don't give up on them," he said. "We'd much rather stand up and help save a person than hear later that something tragic happened."
To contact The Family Justice Center, click here.
To contact The Helen Ross McNabb Center, click here.
To contact The Restoration House, click here.
For domestic violence resources provided by the City of Knoxville, click here.