Domestic Abuse


In August 1997 Sheriff Terry Ashe began the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department Domestic Violence Unit. The belief was that if a proactive approach was taken concerning domestic abuse the victim might have a better chance of overcoming the cycle of abuse.

Domestic Abuse is preventable. Appropriate enforcement of applicable laws and complete investigation of incidents of abuse should result in the reduction of domestic homicides, kidnappings, assaults, stalking, spousal rape, harassment and domestic related hostage situations. This also helps to deter child abuse, as statistics show 50% of the homes where a parent is being abused, the children are also.

Domestic Abuse: 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 (Tenn 36-3-601).

Victim: means any person who falls within the following categories and who a law enforcement officer has determined is not a primary aggressor under the factors set our in 36-3-614(c).

  • Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
  • Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
  • Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship;
  • Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
  • Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
  • Adults or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described above.

Law Enforcement officers shall arrest a person committing Domestic Abuse, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to arrest (Tenn 36-3-601).


  1. 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.
  2. Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothing with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  3. Determine who would be able to let you stay with or lend you some money.
  4. Keep the Shelter phone number close to 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.
  5. Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your abuser. Remember, leaving your abuser is the most dangerous time.
  6. Checklist of what you need to take with you when you leave:
  • Identification – Drivers license, Social Security Card, Welfare I.D.
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Your birth certificate
  • Money
  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  • Bank books, check books
  • Insurance papers
  • House and car keys
  • Medications
  • Small salable objects, address book, pictures
  • Medical records
  • School records, work permits, green card, passport
  • Divorce papers
  • Jewelry
  • Child’s small toys

If you are the victim of Domestic Abuse, help is available. In Wilson County contact the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department at 615-444-1412 or in case of emergency dial 911. If you need information on how to obtain a criminal warrant or an Order of Protection call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department. Also a Shelter is available through HOME SAFE which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 615-444-8955 or 615-452-4315 (collect calls are accepted).