The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a study that analyzed the state’s domestic violence crime data as reported by law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS) program in an effort to gain more insight into the problem of domestic violence within Tennessee. The report analyzes offense data flagged as domestic related from 2009 through 2011.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence uses the following definition of domestic violence “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting the individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.” For purposes of the Tennessee Domestic Violence Report 2009-2011, the data included in the study met the following criteria: crimes against person(s) offense, offense flagged by reporting agency as being domestically related and victim gender being known and reported.
A count of domestic violence victims reported from 2009 to 2011 in the state of Tennessee where the gender of the victim was known totaled 254,903. The overall numbers reveal a decrease in total reported offenses during the three year period, but only by 1.1 percent. In 2009, 85,475 offenses were reported and decreased to 85,163 in 2010, a fraction of a percent. From 2010 to 2011, domestic violence offenses decreased by 646 for a total of 84,517. Due to the nature of the close personal relationships between victim and offender, it is believed there is an underreporting of such offenses.
The offenses analyzed for the study included murder/non-negligent homicide, kidnapping/abduction, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, stalking, incest and statutory rape. The two offenses omitted for purposes of the report are negligent manslaughter and justifiable homicide.
Tennessee Domestic Violence Report 2009-2011 Quick Facts
- The majority of domestic violence victims during the three year period were female at approximately 72 percent, outnumbering males by three to one.
- Assault offenses combined accounted for 96 percent of all domestic violence offenses reported during the time period.
- Homicides determined to be the result of domestic violence decreased by approximately 11 percent from 108 reported in 2009 to 96 reported in 2011.
- A total of 25,465 juveniles were reported as domestic violence victims during the study period accounting for approximately ten percent of all victims.
- The victim race most often documented at more than 58 percent was white.
- Approximately 55 percent of the domestic violence incidents reported during the study period were cleared. Of those offenses that were cleared, almost 80 percent were cleared through arrest and 20 percent were cleared exceptionally. The majority of exceptional clearances, approximately 83 percent were documented as the victim refused to cooperate.
The study was prepared by TBI’s Crime Statistics Unit. Click here to read the Tennessee Domestic Violence Report 2009-2011 in its entirety.