Join Efforts to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
NASHVILLE – Domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence or IPV, is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects tens of thousands of Tennesseans and millions of people across the United States. Throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, the Tennessee Department of Health is working with community partners to share information on training and resources available to help end IPV.
“We join in mourning those whose lives have been taken by acts of domestic violence, celebrate survivors and acknowledge the tremendous progress victim advocates have made as we stand together with all those working to end IPV,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH.
In Tennessee, 77,355 people were identified as victims of IPV in 2017 according to data collected by the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show one in three women and one in four men will become victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetimes.
Research finds many factors are associated with higher risk of IPV:
• Being a woman: 55,804 IPV victims in Tennessee were female and 21,983 were male in 2017
• Demographic risk factors such as age, low educational attainment, low income or unemployment
• Childhood risk factors such as exposure to violence between parents, experiencing child abuse or neglect and experiencing sexual violence
• Individual risk factors such as stress, anxiety and antisocial personality traits
IPV increases the risk of poor cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, reproductive and nervous system health outcomes for victims. IPV survivors also experience mental health effects such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
IPV is preventable. The TDH Rape Prevention Education Program offers training and support for community agencies, schools and sports teams to implement evidence-based prevention programs. These include Coaching Boys into Men, Safe Dates, Athletes as Leaders, Safe Bar and Bystander Intervention Strategies. Learn more at www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/vipp/rape-prevention-education.html.
“There are numerous programs and services available to help equip individuals, communities and organizations with skills to build and support healthy relationships and to recognize and prevent intimate partner violence,” said TDH Rape Prevention Education Program Director Kristyn Long. “All Tennesseans can participate in ending IPV in our state.”
In Tennessee, the Sexual Assault Center provides healing through counseling, prevention education and advocacy for children, adults and families affected by sexual violence. SAC offers a variety of prevention trainings and educational programs throughout the year including courses for Kindergarten through high school students and college campuses. For more information visit www.sacenter.org/ or call the 24-hour crisis hotline and support line at 1-800-879-1999.
If you need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to www.TheHotline.org.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.