YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley | Programs & Services

Domestic Violence Services

Help is Available

If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley offers support and services to women and families in Knox, Anderson, Loudon, and Roane Counties. Victim Advocates are available to provide assistance with orders of protection, accompany victims to court, conduct danger assessments, and develop safety plans. In addition, advocates also lead support groups and provide referrals to other local services as needed. Information is available 24 hours a day, by calling (865) 523-6126.

All victim advocacy services are offered at no charge and are completely confidential to ensure client safety.

What Is Domestic Violence?

“Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence, domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” --- National Domestic Violence Hotline

Victim Advocacy Program

Founded in 1988, the YWCA Victim Advocacy Program (VAP) is the only community-based non-shelter program in Knox County, the only program with advocates in both criminal and civil courts, and the only program with bilingual/bicultural advocates (Spanish, English, Arabic, and French). The YWCA is an onsite partner at the Knoxville Family Justice Center. YWCA advocates are stationed at the Family Justice Center, in court, and out in the community. In 2015, the YWCA expanded services to offer community based advocacy in Anderson County. In 2018, services expanded to Roane and Loudon counties.

YWCA offers culturally-specific advocates for immigrant, refugee, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and African-American populations, as well as, support groups in English, Spanish, and Arabic to women who have experienced domestic violence and to female family members. Although every domestic violence situation is different, victims/survivors may find it beneficial to talk about their feelings with others who are going through similar experiences. Led by trained facilitators, confidential support groups meet weekly and address a variety of issues related to domestic violence in a caring, nurturing environment.

Justice for Families Supervised Visitation and Safe-Exchange Program

The Justice for Families Program offers supervised visitation and safe-exchange services for families. Offered through funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, this program serves families who have experienced violence within their relationships in and around Anderson County. YWCA staff deliver non-judgmental services with an emphasis on healthy relationships and healing from violence in a safe and supportive environment.

The YWCA Oak Ridge building is equipped with security systems, isolated office spaces, a kitchenette, accessible bathrooms, waiting rooms for parents, and more to ensure the space is safe for all utilizing these services.

Program requirement: One parent must have legal custody of the child(ren).

Freedom Inside

Freedom Inside is a program offering counseling and crisis intervention to incarcerated women who have been victims of any type of abuse from childhood through adulthood.

Additional services include:

  • Pre- and post-release individual and group counseling;
  • Pre- and post-release therapy;
  • Case management;
  • Counseling;
  • Housing;
  • Referral to resource assistance (social and health care service, employment, clothing, transportation, medicine, hygiene needs, household items needs, and more)

This program primarily serves Knox Detention Center.

Firearms Technical Assistance Project

YWCA’s Firearms Technical Assistance Project is funded by a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. As the lead applicant and grant recipient, YWCA will work alongside partners City of Knoxville, Knoxville Police Department, and Fourth Circuit Court.

During the course of this project, YWCA and partners will work with technical assistance providers, review existing effective models of dispossession that are culturally relevant and sustainable, create an implementation plan, and evaluate its efficacy. The project will additionally prepare and provide training for law enforcement, judicial, legal, and victim-serving teams to provide context about the importance of dispossession and consistent, effective measures to increase safety for victims and communities.

For more information contact Lukas Gonzalez, Firearms Technical Assistance Project Coordinator, at lgonzalez@ywcaknox.com

Mobility Mentor Program

YWCA’s Mobility Mentor programs will provide support, knowledge and resources needed for moving families from dependency to self-sufficiency in 18-36 months. Through the United Way of Greater Knoxville’s East Tennessee Collaborative (ETC), the Knoxville and Anderson County Mobility Mentors will assist up to 25 families and provide holistic, family-focused services using Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)’s Bridge to Self-Sufficiency model.

For more information contact Tonya Clark, Knox County Mobility Mentor, at tclark@ywcaknox.com

Community Outreach and Trainings

YWCA advocates are available to conduct community education workshops at businesses, organizations, places of worship, schools, and other locations throughout the region. For more information or to request a workshop in your community, please call (865) 523-6126. (Community workshops and trainings are offered virtually and in-person.)