The Tennessee Economic Council on Women (TECW) continued its statewide hearing series on the subject of violence against women with a public hearing on Belmont’s campus yesterday in the Massey Board Room. The “Public Hearing on the Economic Impact of Violence Against Women” is just one of the ways in which TECW is committed to providing unique, relevant information about women in the state.
The hearing, the fourth of nine, followed events in Chattanooga, Columbia and Crossville, which have identified millions in local costs and exposed a need for better prevention efforts and communication among local authorities, service providers and funding sources.
TECW Council Chair Yvonne Wood said, “We learned from our 2006 research that domestic violence was costing Tennessee millions every year from legal costs, healthcare costs, lost productivity and a tremendous burden on our social services system. The 2013 hearings are revealing that the trend is continuing and it erodes more than just the social fabric of our families, but also the economic strength of our state. ”
Thursday’s event was co-chaired by Dr. Mimi Barnard, Belmont’s assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies and global education, who also serves on TECW.
Belmont University was more than a venue for this important event; the university sees the issue as one of significance. “We are honored to host this important event at Belmont. Raising awareness of the impact of violence against women can save lives and prevent immeasurable heartbreak,” said Cathy R. Taylor, dean and professor, College of Health Sciences and Nursing at Belmont. Among other efforts in its continued commitment to understanding issue that impact women worldwide, Belmont also plans to host a local viewing of the film Girl Rising this fall.
Also scheduled to be in attendance were many members of the statewide Council as well as several elected and appointed officials from the area including Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee Dept. of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
The TECW will hold a public hearing in each of Tennessee’s nine development districts before producing its report on the subject in October 2013. For further information about the TECW’s hearings on Violence Against Women, please contact the Tennessee Economic Council on Women at (615) 253-4266, www.tennesseewomen.org, www.facebook.com/TNECW, or info.ECW@tn.gov.