The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines domestic violence as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” The frequency and severity can vary dramatically, but the events include everything from threats and emotional abuse to physical violence and sexual assault.
How common is domestic violence in Tennessee?
According to the NCADV, domestic violence is quite common. About 40% of women and 32.5% of men in Tennessee will experience violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In other words, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in Tennessee have experienced intimate partner violence.
In 2014, 74,023 domestic violence offenses were reported to Tennessee law enforcement. The NCADV estimates that many more went unreported to law enforcement.
On any given day, there are approximately 15 calls to a domestic violence hotline every minute. That’s 21,000 calls every day.
A domestic violence conviction can affect your right to bear arms
If you have been accused of domestic violence, as you can see, you are not alone. This is a very common offense. But did you know that you could lose your right to own firearms if you are convicted of even misdemeanor domestic violence?
It’s true. In Tennessee, any domestic violence misdemeanor conviction requires you to surrender your firearms, and you are prohibited from possessing any more.
Even if you are not convicted, you could be forced to surrender your firearms within 48 hours if you become subject to a permanent protective order.
When law enforcement responds to a domestic violence call, they are required to seize any firearms the alleged abuser used or threatened to use during the course of the incident. They can also seize any other firearms in the house if they believe it necessary to protect themselves or the alleged victim.
Not all domestic violence allegations are true
You have the right to defend yourself from a permanent protective order and from a domestic violence allegation. Just because domestic violence is commonly charged as a misdemeanor does not mean you should just plead guilty and hope for the best.
If you have been accused of violence, rape or stalking against an intimate partner, the accusation is by its nature very serious. Talk to an experienced lawyer about your situation. An attorney may be able to help you reduce the charges through plea bargaining, reduce the penalties, or fight the accusations in court.