October 2015

     Because of state law, we have known that domestic violence data in Tennessee includes abuse and attacks on various family members as well as spouses, boy- and girlfriends and ex-romantic partners. 
     Thanks to new reports by former University of Memphis professors Dr. Phyllis Betts and W. Richard Janikowski, we now know how much of our domestic violence is intimate partner violence, where it is being reported most frequently, what time of day it happens and more about the age, race, and gender of victims and batterers. 
     Analyzing 2014 data for Operation: Safe Community, Betts reports that 8,604 simple and aggravated assaults and four murders were between intimate partners. In the same year, 3,082 assaults and five murders involved other family members. 
     This is important as we continue through Domestic Violence Awareness Month because it puts the focus on the vicious treatment of women by men in our community - men who profess to love women as boyfriends or husbands but then brutalize them - often and repeatedly.

And once again - this data only tells us about those who report the crimes, not the hundreds of women who live in terror but do not call police. 
You can change this. 
Each of us can be part of ending domestic violence and rape: 
GO to MemphisSaysNOMORE.com for resources to get help or help someone else. 
TAKE this survey - to inform our future efforts at awareness and prevention -
BOOK our employer/workplace training called "Victims at Home. Violence at Work. Employers Confront Domestic Violence."     
     Dr. Carol Danehower and Deborah Clubb presented the workshop in July for the Memphis chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers, on Sept. 29 for the managers and directors at the Memphis Shelby County Airport  Authority and will share the information later in October at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Coming up in November: sessions in City Hall for
directors, managers, supervisors and Police and Fire service leadership. 
       To book a workshop or a speaker about DV or rape - contact Deborah at dclubb@memphiswomen.org
or 901-378-3866. 
SEE more on the new data (right column) in this newsletter.


Oct. 18-20 - Not open to the public but important to know about is the 2nd Annual Sexual Assault Kit Summit for Cities, hosted by the Memphis Sexual Assault Kit Task Force on which Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb serves. She will participate in the summit and the breakout session for victim advocates. It is Oct. 18-20 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Deborah and the Council's interns also will host a display for at the summit on the Memphis Says No More campaign.

Oct. 22 - Open to the public and sure to be hugely inspiring is the 2015 Freedom Awards presented by the National Civil Rights Museum. This year the museum honors Ruby Bridges-Hall, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, and Ava DuVernay. Public Forum, 10 a.m., Temple of Deliverance; Award Ceremony, 6:30 p.m., Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Admission to the Forum is free.

Oct. 25 - Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb is saluted as one of 2016 Women's Olympic Elite 11 award honorees during opening ceremonies for the Women's Olympic Boxing Team. Deborah was selected as a role model for young women. The banquet will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

     The Women's Council and our partners at the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Memphis Chapter and the Shelby County Chapter of the LINKS hosted the first 2015 forum for Memphis mayoral candidates.
     Memphis Area Women's Council board member Erma Elzy, Regina Walker from Shelby County LINKS, Mayor AC Wharton, Bettye Boone from National Coalition of 100 Black Women Memphis Chapter, Dr. Sharon Webb, Deborah Clubb from Memphis Area Women's Council and City Councilmember Harold Collins attended the forum on women's issues (see below photo.) Jim Strickland left the women's forum early to attend another event.
     Nearly 200 people came to First Congregational Church to hear four candidates answer carefully-crafted questions about women's concerns, access to leadership and more. (Former) Mayor AC Wharton, City Councilmembers Harold Collins and Jim Strickland and Dr. Sharon Webb participated. 
     (New) Mayor Strickland said that night that "my administration will reflect the population of the city."
      On the question of few women currently in City Hall leadership, he stated that women are better educated, with more master's and doctoral degrees. "The Strickland administration will do better." 
     He said he would work with state legislators on steps such as making multiple DV assaults a felony charge and allowing Orders of Protection to be issued "on the spot."    
     Our "violence epidemic" will be addressed immediately, he said. As mayor he said he could convene business, educators and non-profits about the lack of temporary and mid-term housing for DV victims. 
     Strickland frequently mentioned in speeches and campaign materials that he led support of city funding for rape kit testing to address thousands of stored untested evidence kits.
     The Women's Council will work steadfastly on rape, domestic violence, access to leadership and economic equity for women with our new mayor and his administration.
Issue: 18
In T his Issue

New Data on DV

Upcoming Events

Strickland Strict on DV


New data draws a sobering picture as Domestic Violence Awareness Month continues.

The analysis of domestic violence police reports was done by W. Richard Janikowski and Dr. Phyllis Betts, retired University of Memphis professors who continue their research as Strategic City Solutions for Operation: Safe Community.

In Memphis between April and June 2015, boyfriends and girlfriends reported the highest level of domestic violence among Memphis police reports, accounting for 83.4 percent of the sexual assaults, kidnapping, physical assaults, intimidation and stalking.

During the same period, spouses and ex-spouses reported highest levels of intimidation and stalking by their abusers.

Most reporting domestic violence were between ages 18 and 34 - 62.5 percent. Another 16.1 percent were between 34 and 44. Only 1.4 percent of people 65 and over reported abuse.

This and other new data reveal the reality of intimate partner violence in Memphis and Shelby County and draw a sobering picture as Domestic Violence Awareness Month continues.

Janikowski took a close look at incidents between April and June of this year to see who is being hurt, by whom, where, when and how. His report offers the most detail we have ever seen and gives us a snapshot of what is happening now in these violent relationships.

Among victims in those three months, 3,595 were female and 993 were male. African-American women were 68.3 percent; African-American men were 19.1 percent of victims reporting domestic violence.

Nearly 81 percent of offenders were ages 18-44 and 66.4 percent were African-American men.
The most violent time of day is generally 3 p.m. to midnight and weekends are the most dangerous - yet most client-serving agencies close at 4:30 and weekends.

The Women's Council will work with this new data in hand and with our longtime partners to press for funding that allows victim support to be available when it is most needed to help victims/survivors be safe and secure justice.

About Memphis Area Women's Council
The Memphis Area Women's Council is a non-profit dedicated to advocacy to assure equity and opportunity for local women and girls. Our goal is strategic changes in policy, procedure, law and regulations that remove barriers, eliminate sexism and assure equal access.  For more information or to donate go to
memphiswomen.org or contact Deborah Clubb at 901-378-3866 or dclubb@memphiswomen.org.