Healing People Broken by Violence

About Us


In 1984, President Regan signed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) into being. The act provided federal funding and services for victims taken from the fines, bonds, and other expenses paid by criminals. Battered women’s safe houses and shelters had been cropping up all over the United States in the twenty or so years prior to the signing of this act; when news of federal money for victims spread, domestic violence advocates “jumped on the opportunity” and started applying for funding. In 1986, Ms. Johnson, the Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Program & Sexual Assault Services, and her friend started the Domestic Violence Program of Rutherford County partnering with the YWCA in Nashville. They had a tiny, one room office with a desk and a phone, their salaries and limited services funded by VOCA. In 1988, they added two safe houses, counseling services, and in 2003 a large, gated shelter. In 2007 Domestic Violence Program merged with the Sexual Assault Services providing counseling, hospital accompaniment, and legal advocacy to victims of sexual assault and stalking. The organization continues to grow to better assist victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, being able to house 48 women, children, and men in the safe shelter, multiple transitional houses, among many other healing services.


At Domestic Violence Program & Sexual Assault Services, our mission is simple. To PREVENT violence, PROTECT victims, and EMPOWER survivors. We accomplish that by providing citizens of Rutherford County with the resources and assistance necessary to effectively deal with the personal, social, and legal implications of victimization by domestic violence and sexual assault.


Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Services staffing cover the following services:

  • Shelter Support Services
  • Shelter Family Advocacy and Case Management
  • Shelter  Children’s Advocacy and Case Management
  • Shelter Food & Nutrition Services
  • Court Advocacy and Orders of Protection
  • Counseling Services
  • Elder Abuse Advocate & Follow-up Services

Staff Attorney Mitch Shannon

For additional information on our program and services please contact one of the following:

Executive DirectorKaren
Operations ManagerBettie
Community Relations CoordinatorKara
Court AdvocacyMyra
Counseling & Sexual Assault ServicesShelly