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Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. The term "intimate partner violence" describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy (from CDC IPV Website).

The goal is to stop IPV before it begins. There is a lot to learn about how to prevent IPV. We do know that strategies that promote healthy behaviors in relationships are important. Programs that teach young people skills for dating can prevent violence. These programs can stop violence in dating relationships before it occurs (from CDC IPV Website).

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Personal Safety program provides education and awareness resources.  We do not provide crisis intervention services but many of the local and national links below do. We are available to come to your group, school, faith-based or other organization to provide education on intimate partner violence as well as these other topics:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Domestic/Dating Violence
  • Aspects of a Healthy Relationship
  • Anger Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Bullying and School Violence
  • Self-Esteem

Domestic Violence

If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 911.  Otherwise, the following resources may be helpful.  Delete your browsing history afterward if you feel that looking at these resources may jeopardize your safety. 

Click here anytime to exit to Google for safety.

Hamilton County Local Resources

State of Tennessee Resources

National Resources

Rape Prevention Program

The Rape Prevention program is designed to educate students ages 13 and above about forced or coerced non-consensual sexual contact.
Our seminars, training programs, and workshops focus on the myths and realities of rape, date rape drugs, and reducing one’s risk of rape.
Programming can be altered to meet specific needs or age groups.


Internet Safety & Bullying:

Protect Children from Online Threats

Resources for Parents:

FBI Internet Safety
Stop Bullying
National Bullying Prevention Center
Stomp Out Bullying

Tips for Parents:

  • Take an interest in your child’s online activities and know with whom he or she is communicating.
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions, especially if your child is acting suspiciously.
  • Teach your child not to reveal personal information.
  • Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
  • Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
  • Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.

Human Trafficking - Sex and Labor Exploitation

The Trafficking Victims Act of 2000 defines Sex Trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion; or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

Labor Trafficking, another form of human trafficking, is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

 Human trafficking can happen to anyone with the most vulnerable being:

  • Victims of child abuse; runaway youth
  • Homeless
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Individuals who come from conflict areas or experience social discrimination.

Warning signs that someone is being trafficked include the following:

  • Physical Appearance
  • Malnourishment
  • Brandings
  • Injuries
  • Provocative clothing or same clothing on multiple days
  • Very few personal possessions
  • Unexplained increases in money, clothing or jewelry without explanation
  • No identification
  • Prepaid cell phone
  • Multiple hotel keys and key cards.

Behavioral characteristics of trafficking victims:

  • Fears authority figures
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Claims to be an adult, though appearance suggests adolescence
  • Seems to move frequently from place to place
  • Has inconsistencies in their story
  • Isn’t able to speak for themselves
  • Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites
  • Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent
  • Seems to be withdrawn, depressed, or “checked out”
  • Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man
  • Claims to be visiting, and can’t state what city they’re in or for how long.

Trafficking victims lack control:

  • In terms of someone accompanying them controlling their every move
  • A pre-scripted manner of speaking
  • Doesn’t have control over their finances
  • Cannot come and go between locations on their own.

Common work and living conditions of trafficking victims:

  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Recruited through false promises concerning the nature and condition of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations.

If you suspect or know someone who may be trafficked, please contact the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-855-558-6484 or Text ‘BeFree’ to 233733. To contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline, please contact 1-888-373-7888 or by email at

Local resources in the Hamilton County area include the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline (423) 755-2700, Street Grace at (888) 373-7888, and Love’s Arm at (423) 580-6553.

Read our Press Release: Health Department Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking