Last year, there were 12,686 reported domestic violence crimes in Nashville’s Davidson County, including nine homicides. Two domestic violence prosecutors handled most of those cases, each averaging about 250 cases every week, The Tennessean reports. Mayor Karl Dean says they need help. He is seeking two more domestic violence prosecutors, part of an ongoing top-to-bottom audit to identify how Nashville can improve the way it addresses domestic violence, from investigation and prosecution to victim services.
“We need to send a message that Nashville is a safe city for women and children,” Dean said. Tennessee has a deplorable reputation for domestic violence. Since 2001, it has ranked among the Top 10 states with the highest rates of women murdered by men. The state has been included on that list every year but 2009, says the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit Washington-based public safety research and advocacy organization. It has ranked in the Top 5 five times, including the past two years.