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Nashville looks for ways to help domestic violence victims

Domestic violence can be one of the costliest by-products of a divorce. The anxiety and stress that often accompany divorce proceedings can lead to hurtful and sometimes deadly assaults by one spouse on the other. While most such incidents involve men assaulting women, men are occasionally victims as well. The costs of dealing with domestic violence have led the city of Nashville to seek improved methods for preventing domestic violence and for comforting and caring for its victims.

According to the head of Nashville’s Metro Office of Family Services, domestic violence in 2013 cost the state of Tennessee more than $886 million in lost wages, health care costs and judicial and law enforcement costs. One national organization estimates that a single rape can cost a victim almost $150,000 in lost wages, health care and related expenses. Organizations devoted to the protection of female victims of domestic violence are now taking steps to improve aid to victims of domestic violence.

Nashville has established a number of victims’ assistance centers that provide safety, counseling and assistance in finding other necessary resources. The city is adding a second Family Justice Center to expedite the prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes. Leaders of women’s advocacy groups are stressing ways of providing information on domestic violence to children, starting with the necessity of honoring personal boundaries.

Despite these welcome and necessary measures, domestic violence continues to infect many family and intimate relationships. Victims and potential victims often feel helpless when facing the threat of violence. A consultation with an experienced family lawyer can assist a victim or potential victim in dealing with repeated assaults through temporary restraining orders, orders for protection and other legal measures. A knowledgeable attorney can craft an order that will protect an abused parent and children who might also become victims.