• TN legislators shoot down bill allowing paid time off for domestic victims

    By: Tony Atkins


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A bill that would’ve provided paid leave for women who are victims of domestic violence was shot down this week in a state senate judiciary committee. 

    The proposed bill would’ve allowed victims paid time off from work to deal with post-traumatic issues before returning to the office. 

    Eight days, to deal with medical attention, sheltering and many other issues these victims needed to take care of. 

    Silence filled the room Wednesday afternoon as senators voted down a bill intended to give domestic victims in Tennessee up to eight days off from work to deal with medical attention, counseling and other services.

    “It really breaks my heart, but it also reminds me of how much we’re needed to continue being the boots on the ground,” said Marquiepta Odom of the WYCA. 

    Odom leads the YWCA’s abused women’s services program. She said they help between 150 to 350 local victims a year with safe living and counseling.

    She also says she noticed an uptick in clientele. 

    “Last year our numbers were greater than they were the previous year,” Odom said.  

    This year, here in Memphis, that growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 

    “As of right now, it looks like we may be on that same pace,” she said.  

    Which is why she was hoping the bill would go through. The bill, backed by the state’s democratic caucus, received seven “no’s” – all from opposing republicans.

    Odom, a former domestic abuse victim herself says she’s glad it’s even being considered – but hopes it makes it through eventually – for the victims she works with every day.

    Under senate rules, that bill can be considered again in committee, so we will have to see how this bill plays out. 

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