October = Domestic Violence Awareness MonthPosted: 9/30/2015
When DA Charme Allen took office in September 2014, she made several changes to the District Attorney’s Office to combat various problems in our community. One of those problems was the huge volume of domestic violence occurring in Knox County. “According to statistics from the Family Justice Center, local law enforcement receives a call about domestic violence every thirty minutes,” said General Allen. “This translates to thousands of cases of domestic assault coming through the court system.”
In order to fight this problem, General Allen revamped the Domestic Violence Unit by adding more prosecutors and support staff to help victims and hold their abusers accountable. The Domestic Violence Unit expanded to three full-time prosecutors and two support staff members dedicated solely to cases of domestic violence. These prosecutors bring with them years of experience and specialized training handling very difficult domestic cases. According to General Allen, “Members of the Domestic Violence Unit must be part prosecutor and part victim advocate as they help victims cope with the emotional and traumatic events of their past while guiding them forward through the legal process to a safe and peaceful future.”
The initiatives of General Allen and the hard work of the prosecutors and staff of the Domestic Violence Unit have already proven itself in the courtroom. Within this first year of the revitalized unit, more domestic violence cases are being prosecuted, more victims are being helped, and ultimately, more offenders are being convicted of the crimes they have committed.
Domestic violence is a complicated issue with no easy answers, but the experienced prosecutors and staff of the District Attorney’s Office are working to make the community safer one case at a time.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please contact the Randall E. Nichols Family Justice Center 24/7 Family Violence Helpline at 865.521.6336.