• New domestic violence law closes loopholes exposed by attackers, advocate says

    By: Jim Spiewak

    Updated:

    Domestic violence victims are just two days away from being better protected from their attackers.  

    That's because of a new law going into effect on Sunday.  

    Domestic violence impacts more than the victims.  

    If there are kids, they can act out because of the abuse they see in their mother, according to Marquiepta Odom of the YWCA.

    “From the anger, restatement and bitterness, her 3-year-old was throwing chairs,” Odom said. 

    Odom is on the front lines of domestic violence advocacy.  

    She told FOX13 attackers have known for years about loopholes in Tennessee domestic violence laws.

    But starting Sunday, that now changes.  

    “There's no intimidation, there's no threats,” Odom said.  


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    The new law states victims will not be required to testify against an attacker during a hearing. 

    The new law also gives judges the power to put a 12-hour hold before bond is set, notify the victim the attacker has been picked up and issue a no-contact order to the attacker.  

    Tennessee Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown sponsored the bill.  

    He was not available to talk on camera Friday but did issue a statement. 

    “This protects victims from harm and hopefully saves many lives," Kelsey said.  

    And that's needed desperately in Tennessee.  

    A new study put out this week by the Violence Policy Center ranked Tennessee fourth in the country for the rate at which men kill women in domestic disputes.  

    “It's traumatic, it's life changing and, unfortunately, some of them are never able to rebound from their situations” Odom said.

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