The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has a proactive approach in response to domestic violence. Domestic Violence is preventable. Thorough investigations of incidents of domestic violence and appropriate enforcement of applicable laws has resulted in reductions in domestic homicides, assaults, spousal rapes, stalking, harassment and domestic hostage situations.
Domestic Abuse Defined
Who can be a Victim
Preferred Response by Law Enforcement
Rutherford County Domestic Violence Unit
If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you have the following rights
Safety Planning when preparing to leave a Domestic Abuser
Checklist of what you need to take when you leave
Emergency Numbers for Domestic Violence
|Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit
|Domestic Violence Program
|Domestic Violence Center
|Rutherford Guidance Center
|West Main Mission
|Rape and Sexual Abuse Center (Nashville)
Domestic Abuse Defined (Tenn 36-3-601)
Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means, placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, or malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party.
Who can be a Victim:
1. Adults or minors who are current or former spouses.
2. Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together.
3. Adults or minors who are dating or who have had a sexual relationship.
4. Adults or minors related by blood or adoption.
5. Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage.
6. Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in 1-5 (Tenn 36-3-601)
Preferred response by Law Enforcement (Tenn 36-3-601)
Law Enforcement Officers shall arrest a person committing domestic abuse, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to arrest.
The RCSO Domestic Violence Unit operates under the direction of the Criminal Investigations Division. There are currently three Detectives assigned to the unit with future plans of growing. Services provided by the Unit include, but are not limited to:
Domestic Abuse follow-ups: follow-up photographs, re-interviewing witnesses, collection of evidence.
Offering assistance to victims: obtaining criminal warrants, obtaining orders of protection, offering available information, property retrieval from the home.
On scene investigation of Domestic Abuse cases.
Arrest of Domestic Abuse offenders.
Teaching Domestic Abuse dynamics to Law Enforcement Personnel.
Serving criminal warrants and orders of protection.
The Unit operates in the Tennessee Sixteenth Judicial District serving Rutherford and Cannon County.
The Detectives are members of the Sixteenth Judicial District Domestic Violence Coalition and its training team.
If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, know there is help available.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you have the following rights:
You may file a criminal complaint with the District Attorney General.
You may request an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection may include the following:
An order preventing the abuser from committing further domestic abuse against you;
An order requiring the abuser to leave the household;
An order preventing the abuser from harassing you or contacting you for any reason;
An order giving you or the other parent custody or visitation with your minor child or children;
An order requiring the abuser to pay money to support you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so; and
An order preventing the abuser from stalking you.
Safety Planning when preparing to leave a Domestic Abuser:
- Open a savings account in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothing with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
Keep the Shelter phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls. If possible keep a cellular phone with you at all times.
- Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. Remember leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.
Checklist of what you need to take when you leave:
- Identification - Driver's License
- Child's birth certificate
- Your birth certificate
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Bank books, check books
- Insurance papers
- House and car keys
- Small saleable objects, address book, pictures
- Medical records, social security card, welfare I.D.
- School records, work permits, green card, passport
- Divorce papers
- Child's small toys
There are other safety plans available depending on your situation and specific needs.
If you need further information on how to file a criminal complaint, contact the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit (615) 898-7770 or the Domestic Violence Program (615) 896-2032 on how to obtain an Order of Protection.
ALWAYS REMEMBER--YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE HIT OR THREATENED!