Safe Place

This page consist of tips and resources for those who need it. Please know that you can get out safely.  ~There Is Life After Abuse~

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of controlling behavior such as physical, sexual, psychological, and financial abuse committed by an intimate partner.

Did you know?

  • Domestic violence represents 56%  of all violent crimes
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence
  • Domestic violence is a cycle; 70% of violent adults came from abusive homes
  • 50,000+ domestic violence dispatch calls are made a year
  • On average, it takes at least 7 tries before a victim succeeds at escaping an abusive relationship
  • 70%-80% of inmates came from abusive homes
  • 25,000 children are exposed to domestic violence each year
  • For every reported domestic violence case, there’s an unreported one

Are you a victim?

Does your partner:

  • Hurt you physically?
  • Belittle you or humiliate you (when you are alone/in front of others)?
  • Threaten to seriously harm you?
  • Physically hurt or threaten to hurt one of your children?
  • Physically hurt or threaten to hurt one of your pets?
  • Tell you he/she can’t live without you?
  • Keep you away from your family or friends?
  • Act jealous or possessive (accuse you of having affairs)?
  • Check up on you at work or follow you (cause problems at your job)?
  • Insist on you accounting for every minute of your time?
  • Insist on you accounting for every penny you spend?
  • Break things or throw things at you?
  • Restrain you or hold you down?
  • Ever tell you that you will never leave him/her?
  • Act like his/her hurting you is your fault?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • Ever threaten to hurt himself/herself?
  • Ever threaten you with a weapon?
  • Ever threaten to kill you?
  • Ever talk about how or when he/she would kill you?

If you answered “yes” to five or more of the above questions, you are at high risk for being in danger of serious injury or death.

5 Domestic Violence Questions – courtesy of

At one point in the not-too-distant past, a fight between spouses — even a physical one — was thought to be a personal matter, not the purview of police, prosecutors, or judges. More recently, law enforcement has taken domestic abuse more seriously, although juries were liable to take a he said/she said approach to accusations of violence in the home. Thankfully, nowadays, it seems like everyone is taking domestic violence seriously, from the expansion of definitions to include other members of the family or household, to the increase in convictions and penalties for domestic abuse. Here are five questions that may help with your decision making when dealing with abusive situations.

1.) How long do you have to file a police report for domestic violence?

Victims of domestic abuse can often struggle with the decision to report violence in the home. Ignorance of domestic violence laws or fear of abandonment or increased abuse keeps many victims from going to the police at all. But statues of limitation put a cap on how long you can wait before reporting domestic violence.

2.) Should you call the police if your neighbors are fighting?

Getting involved in a domestic dispute or intervening on another’s behalf, especially if that person is a stranger, can keep many witnesses of domestic abuse from contacting law enforcement. However, if a situation has escalated to the point you can hear it, it is seldom a bad thing to get the police involved. You may be afraid of meddling, but you may also save a life.

3.) Victim of Stalking? Know your legal options.

Domestic abuse is not limited to acts of physical violence, and can include emotional and psychological abuse. At the same time, it is not just limited to behavior in the home — abuse can often spill out into a person’s public life.

4.) When can domestic violence charges be dismissed?

Criminal charges get dropped for all kinds of reasons. But with the common misconceptions regarding who presses charges and how, dismissing charges in a domestic violence case may be a little different than you might expect.

5.) Can I still own a gun after a domestic violence conviction?

Most jurisdictions are taking domestic violence more seriously, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. Domestic violence convictions especially are those that after which cities, counties, or states would want to limit gun ownership or possession. And, thanks to federal gun control regulations, that’s often the case.

Safety Tips:

How to apply for a restraining/protective order: (

  • Get the necessary forms. You can go to the courthouse or online (in your city). It may be a better option to print the forms off at home and fill them out. (Remember: you are the “petitioner”; the abuser is the “respondent”)
  • Fill out the form thoroughly. Include all incidents of violence (sexual abuse, stalking, hitting, threatening, etc.)
  • If you need an immediate order of protection, tell the clerk you want to file a temporary (ex parte) protection order. **There is no fee to file a protection order**
  • When you turn in the petition, the clerk will then send it to the judge. The judge may want to ask you questions. The temporary protection may be granted until your court date.
  • After a hearing date has been set, the order will be served to the abuser.
  • On the day of the hearing, you must attend! After hearing both sides, the judge will decide whether to grant the full protection order.
  • Also consider getting a lawyer. Especially, if the abuser has one.
  • After you have been granted your protection order, keep a copy in your car, at work, home, and with a close relative.
  • Tell family and friends about your protection order.
  • Call 911 if your abuser violates the order. Ask for the police report number.
  • Always have a back up plan while you wait for the police.

Safety from day-to-day life:

  • Keep windows and doors locked.
  • Setup a safety plan with your children. Inform your children’s school or day care about the protection order. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser.
  • Get an unlisted telephone number. Change cell phone number.
  • Never contact your abuser.

Safety at work or in public

  • Always have someone with you. Never go anywhere alone.
  • Never take the same route to and from home.
  • At work, tell your boss, co-workers, and security about your situation.
  • If you can, have your calls screened at work.

Checklist – The items you should have with you when you leave:

  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate (yours and your children)
  • Social security card(s)
  • Military ID cards
  • Medications
  • Protective order
  • Keys to the house and car
  • Divorce and custody papers
  • Address book
  • Lease/rental papers
  • Clothes for you and your children

Arguing Fairly – courtesy of

In relationships and friendships, you don’t always agree-it’s a fact of life. What’s important is that you argue in a fair manner. Not sure what that means? Read below!

Unfair Arguing:

  • Yelling or over-talking
  • Becoming physical or threatening violence
  • Name-calling and insults
  • Getting in the person’s face
  • Blaming the other person
  • Ignoring the other person or shutting down

Sometimes when we argue we are more focused on being right and getting our point across. Arguing in this way is one-sided and doesn’t focus on the problem. We may even leave the argument angrier than when it started.

Fair Arguing:

  • Listen before responding
  • Remain calm
  • Express how it made you feel instead of blaming
  • Know when to walk away
  • Focus on the solution rather than the problem
  • Remember it’s okay to agree to disagree

Arguing fairly can be difficult. It may take some work to be great at it, but it’s important to practice. When both people express how they feel and listen to the other person, the argument can lead to a better solution.

Remember, arguments take two people. If only one person in the relationship is arguing unfairly by yelling, constantly blaming, or putting their partner down, that can be considered abusive behavior. For more information on warning signs of abuse and healthy relationships, visit

The Athena Project

The Athena Project at the University of Memphis offers free evaluation and treatment services for women who seek help for emotional problems from domestic violence. Evaluation and services are provided at the University of Memphis Psychology Department.

Benefits:  Evaluations are free and private. If you request, the results of your evaluation can be given to your doctor or lawyer.

Evaluation: The evaluation process takes 2-3 visits. You will be asked to talk about the abuse and your current feelings.

Treatment:  You may qualify for treatment. However, if treatment is not the best choice for you we will provide you with referrals for other kinds of support.

Contact Info:

Dr. Gayle Beck

400 Innovation Dr.

Memphis, TN 38152


Agape: Powerlines Community Network

Since 1970, Agape Child & Family Services has focused on being a channel of service for the Mid-South. That focus continues today as we partner with local congregations, non-profits, corporations and other resources to offer an authentic model of sharing with children and families in need. We share Love- Life- Homes- Family- Community. The biblical model of sharing implies a back and forth process, not a one-way gift or relationship. Therefore, we attempt to put flesh on this model and serve the homeless, the fatherless, and underserved neighborhoods in a godly manner.

SAFE: Through Families in Transition (FIT), we are investing in the well-being for women fleeing domestic violence and those who are homeless with children. FIT was launched in July 2001 has a long history of serving homeless, pregnant, and parenting women and their children. Agape provides a transitional housing solution for these families, therefore keeping them safe. We also provide services through voice and choice that can ensure these same families are able to propel to self-sufficiency. FIT provides assistance and support in the following areas:

  • Educational Attainment: GED, high school equivalence, skills training or other education related services
  • Employment Assistance: Job readiness, development, employment and retention strategies
  • Life Skills Training: Family planning and financial stability, health, and other individual needs

Powerlines Community Network (PCN) was launched in March 2009 in response to the need in Memphis for service to local residents in underserved communities. The mission of this community-focused program is one of connection. Through PCN, our Agape team works to identify and provide the true need of residents in Hickory Hill, Frayser,  Raleigh, and Whitehaven. Those residents are provided with needs such as safety, education, jobs/workforce development, and community beautification. Together, we strive to create a safer, nurturing environment by building trust and sharing resources.

Contact Info:


3160 Directors Row

Memphis, TN 38131


Family Safety Center


Protective Orders

Safety Planning

Emergency Housing

Law Enforcement Reporting

Legal Services

Court Advocacy

Individual and Family Counseling

Medical and Mental Health Services

Immigration-Sensitive Victim Services

Domestic Violence Education

LGBTQ Liaison

Elder Abuse Services

The Exchange Club Family Center’s Women’s Domestic Violence Groups

  • 12 week Trauma-Focused Group program with peers experiencing the same things
  • Discuss healthy relationships and healthy communication
  • Nonviolent conflict resolution
  • Improve self esteem
  • Discuss your concerns in a supportive environment
  • We also provide counseling for children who have witnessed the domestic violence

Contact Info:

1750 Madison Ave. Ste. 600

Memphis, TN 38104


Shelby County’s Crime Victim Center

1750 Madison Avenue

(901) 222-4400, to schedule a tour