Tennessee launches campaign to protect victims of domestic violence, human trafficking

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In 2018, there were more than 73,000 reported domestic assault cases in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

In 2019, Tennessee ranked 5th for men killing women in domestic situations.

Domestic violence, human trafficking, and stalking are all real problems in Tennessee.

Leaders are hoping promoting the Safe at Home Program can help more victims break free from their abusers.

The program protects the identity of the victim from their abuser by giving them an alternative address.

This allows the victim to continue to vote or even get a driver’s license, and they won’t be detected by their abuser.

Marquiepta Odom, executive director for the YWCA, told FOX13 this program saves lives.

“This Safe at Home program is a perfect fit for them to be able to have an address, everything they need and all their valuable information and documentation to be forwarded to another address and it is almost untrackable,” said Odom.

Odom says it takes about 15 minutes to fill out the information.

A victim doesn’t even need to go to the YWCA Shelter; they can call their domestic abuse hotline and ask to speak to an advocate.

That advocate will then help get the victim registered in the program.

Tennessee Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, recently launched the Protect Your Address, Protect Yourself campaign in hope of raising more awareness about the program.

Odom says this program is vital, especially since cases have gone up during the covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re averaging anywhere between 50 and 60 clients at any given time with up to 50 children at any given time. You can find out almost anything you want doing an internet search and with this program, it’s almost as if they no longer exist,” said Odom.

You can read more about the campaign here.

The number for the YWCA domestic hotline is 901-725-4277.