Victories in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

by Community Shares on August 13, 2015


The following information comes directly from our 2014 Annual Report:
Letter from the Executive Director

For many of us who have been working for more than 30 years to end rape and abuse, 2014 emerged as a tipping point – the culmination of a series of small changes or events significant enough to cause a larger, more important change. High profile cases in the news and rapidly growing efforts to address sexual assault and domestic violence in professional sports, on college campuses, and in our communities have raised the public consciousness and spurred conversations everywhere from the White House to the State House, from the workplace to social media, from the barbershop to the coffee shop. These conversations have prompted politicians, celebrities, athletes, and organizations to take a public stand against rape and abuse like never before.

I am pleased to report that with the generous support of donors, together with our wonderful staff and dedicated volunteers, the Coalition has been in the forefront of change in Tennessee. Here are a few highlights of our amazing accomplishments over the last year.

● The Tennessee Titans have led the pack among the NFL teams addressing domestic and sexual violence. Last fall the Titans kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with an event at LP Field, hosted a group of 50 survivors at one of their games, held a coat drive for shelters, provided training on domestic and sexual violence to their players, coaches, cheerleaders, and staff, and made a significant donation to the Coalition. Partnering with the Coalition, the Titans are using their resources and influence, especially with young men, to change the culture of violence against women and girls.

● Working closely with the Coalition, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted a number of new laws designed to improve community response to victims of rape and abuse including eliminating the statute of limitations on certain sexual assault crimes, requiring all law enforcement agencies to report the number of untested rape kits, ensuring domestic violence abusers serve required jail time, and extending the Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council, responsible for developing model policies and training curriculum and certifying and monitoring batterer’s intervention programs, for another four years.

● The Coalition launched the Campus Prevention Project working with Tennessee’s colleges and universities on sexual assault prevention and response, holding round table meetings with campuses in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Morristown, and providing training and technical assistance to campus staff. We are already seeing the impact of this project with an increase in the number of rape reports on college campuses.

● With support from Verizon, the Coalition also launched the Engaging Men Project sponsoring training events and increasing community engagement statewide. As a result, men throughout Tennessee have committed to being violence free and taking ongoing action to prevent violence against women and girls.

● Thanks to the generosity of our foundation partners, the Coalition was able to provide emergency financial assistance to 181 survivors fleeing dangerous situations, a 93% increase over last year.

● The Coalition provided legal services to 292 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

● And finally, the Coalition invested more than $400,000 in local communities.

We remain extremely grateful to our foundation and corporate partners, and to the limitless generosity of people like you. Together, we have reached the tipping point, the moment in time where efforts to end rape and abuse are spreading like wildfire.

Kathy Walsh
Executive Director
2014 Impact by the Numbers:
22 batterers’ intervention programs certified
79 trainings conducted by Coalition staff
181 survivors received financial assistance
292 victims received legal services
868 victims served in one day by Tennessee’s domestic violence shelters
1,185 social media posts on topics related to sexual assault and domestic violence
13,206 people received training or technical assistance
402,236 dollars invested in local communities

Social media links
Website: Facebook:
Twitter: @TNCoaliton Pinterest: @TNCoalition
Giving Matters Nonprofit Profile:

Statewide Organization for Community eMpowerment,

by Community Shares on July 14, 2015

Back in the 70’s, a small, devoted group of environmental ninjas tried to stop the big bad strip miners. This little group packed a huge punch, and an arsenal of daring, taking-it-to-the-limit strategies. One member of this fearless group was a man named J.W. Bradley. This man had watched his beloved homeland- one that was passed down through the generations, a sanctuary of unadulterated peace and beauty- become carelessly torn up and flooded with a cacophony of mechanical noises by the machines of a strip mining company. These companies had all the riches of the world, but not a cent of compassion for the decades of hard work carried out by those who strived every day to make their living in beautiful, then untouched, Appalachia.

As a result of the strip mining, people like J.W. watched their water become poisoned with acid mine drainage, their sources of food become scarce as the animals fled and the crops withered-their farmland destroyed. New lives came into unhappy homes with birth defects, and old souls developed strange diseases and cancer. What could this community do faced with such obstacles? They couldn’t eat, their loved ones were sick, and money was scarce. They were forced to rely on the money the coal mining jobs provided- it was truly damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Communities were torn apart in the struggle to escape their horrific circumstances: we won’t have jobs or money vs. we won’t have our health or our homes, both boiled down to the same argument: we won’t be able to thrive here anymore.

JW Bradley was inspired to take things into his own hands, and with a small group of community members, he made big change happen for not only his community, but lasting change for all of TN. To oversimplify an amazing story, one of many from the members of SOCM, JW Bradley and his gang would organize missions that sound like the plot to a Bond film- complete with secret back up rendezvous, crafty diversions, and putting their lives in danger- they were even shot at! All of this was done in order to collect footage of the coal companies breaking the law. One such illegal practice they caught was “layer loading”, or placing high quality coal in only strategic spots of the transport trucks, while the rest was junk, to be sold to TVA. Thankfully their efforts were not in vain.

Through this work, and the works of many other passionate and fearless community members across Tennessee, SOCM was created- then standing for Save Our Cumberland Mountains. By collecting evidence of illegal activities, and fighting tirelessly for progressive legislation, SOCM members successfully argued that TN was clearly incapable of providing proper oversight of mining companies, and convinced the federal government to make TN become one of only 2 states to make mining federally, instead of state, regulated. The federal oversight brought in a lot more restrictions and has made coal extraction more expensive. Not only has this helped alleviate some of the numerous health and environmental consequences associated with mining, but it has also incentivized creating a greener economy here in TN.

In recent times, SOCM has evolved. Now SOCM stands for Statewide Organization for Community eMpowerment, and has broadened its mission to include all issues of economic, environmental, and social justice. One thing hasn’t changed however: SOCM remains driven by the people who are directly impacted by these issues. SOCM understands that people are their own best advocates, and that the organization and staff are present solely to help community members build their advocacy superpowers, and provide space for them to organize and fight for the changes they wish to see.

Please keep your eyes peeled this coming week for opportunities to get involved with this wonderful organization!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

by Community Shares on April 6, 2015

The Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is participating in Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Here is a list of events happening throughout the month.
Please visit to register or find out more information.
Date Time Event
4/1/2015 10am Primary Prevention Webinar
4/1/15-4/30/15 All Month Teal ribbon giveaway
4/3/2015 TBD The Hunting Ground Documentary Premier’s at The Belcourt
4/3/2015 All Day International Day Against Victim Blaming
4/6/2015 Through the rest of the month Library Display
4/7/2015 All Day SAAM Day of Action
4/10/2015 3-8pm SAAM Art Night
4/12-18/2015 All Week Anti-Street Harassment Week
4/20/2015 All Day Annual Conference
4/24/2015 8-11:30 PM Take Back The Night
4/29/2015 All Day Denim Day

Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence will hold their 13th Annual Conference, Inspire, Connect, Act, April 20-22 at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. Registration is available at Workshop topics include:

  • Working with Survivors
  • Importance of Advocacy Work
  • Importance of Self-Care
  • Shelter Best Practices
  • Working with Child Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Trauma and Dissociation and Advocacy
  • Sexual Assault and the LGBTQ Community
  • Best Practices for Working with Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Assault Legal Advocacy
  • Advanced Topics for Experienced Advocates
  • SANE/SART Topics
  • Rural Sexual Assault Survivors
  • Victims Compensation
  • Batterer Intervention Program topics
  • And More!

Radio Free Nashville Birthday Bash

by Community Shares on April 6, 2015

Sunday, April 12
1:00 – 4:00
Yazoo Brew
910 Division

Tickets include music from Ghettobilly, Crazy Aces,
The Screaming Names, and
Vern, the Accordion Guy;

Cake (and ice cream) from
Nothing Bundt Cakes and
Darlene’s Cakes;

Prizes from NashTrash Tours;

And beer from YAZOO!

Tickets $30 in Advance,
$35 At the Door,
$20 Designated Driver and Under 21. Under 12 Free!

Radio Free Nashville is a true community radio station, completely locally owned and operated by volunteers from the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community. Local people create programming, design events, and keep the station up and running and on the air.
Watch the story of Radio Free Nashville to learn more about how they are the little station making a huge impact in the community.

Compass TN 2015

by Community Shares on April 6, 2015

On February 6 and 7, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center partnered with the Tennessee Alliance for Progress to hold “CompassTN 2015”, a statewide gathering of both new and experienced activists to build relationships, share experiences and plan for the future. Participants seemed to feel that the conference was successful and useful.

NPJC has traditionally held a leadership training institute at least once each year, to encourage the development of new community organizers and to help veteran organizers hone their skills. This training program has morphed over the years. It now gives less emphasis to “teaching” and more to sharing. This approach is appropriate to the current generation of intensely engaged new activists.

The partnership between NPJC and its member group TAP was very natural for two reasons. First, this was a statewide conference and TAP, a statewide organization, has held “Compass Conferences” on and off over many years, while NPJC’s training institutes have been more local. Even more importantly, Dan Jaranko, CoDirector (and now, since Nell Levin’s retirement, Director) of TAP, had already coordinated several of NPJC’s previous trainings.

But the most important participants in organizing this conference were the young activists themselves, who had come together at our Nashville Organizers Institute in January and February of 2014. They were the ones who recruited most of the wonderful speakers and workshop leaders, and who gave the two-day Conference it’s optimism and energy. We will continue to encourage continuity and solidarity, and we will continue to organize these events at least once each year, possibly alternating between local trainings and statewide conferences.