Tennessee is close to leading the nation in a category you don't want to hear - men killing women.
In Nashville, Mayor Karl Dean is leading an effort to review the support system for domestic violence victims to reduce that number.
Assistant District Attorney Allegra Walker eyes over the court docket, full of domestic violence related crimes. Walker is one of many involved in the domestic violence safety assessment process, which is exploring if the system in place enhances the safety of victims.
"I thought it was a wonderful idea," said Walker. "I jumped and screamed. It's an excellent idea."
The domestic violence safety assessment involves a look at several areas of the system, from the first call to 911 for help through the court process.
"It's a candid look at how we deal with domestic violence from the beginning to the end, and where there may be some gaps in our system, or just wonderful things that we're doing that we may want to improve on, that is, just has a good outcome," said Walker.
Throughout the assessment process, those involved will continue to ask the same question: Did Metro's response to the domestic abuse leave any gaps when it came to the safety of the victim or their children?
"It's timely given the fact that domestic violence is a very serious problem," said Pamela Sessions, vice president of programs for the YWCA Place, where domestic violence victims can turn for help.
Two members of sessions teams are also involved in the safety assessment.
"They're observing services, collecting data and information, and that will be utilized as a part of the larger system to look at how it's working," said Sessions.
Walker hopes the outcome will help reduce the number of women killed by domestic violence.
"If we can cut down on one or two more murders within the next year, that's a plus," said Walker.
New numbers on domestic violence will be released in the spring. For now, Tennessee is third worse in the country when it comes to men killing women. Most of those are domestic related.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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