YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee’s Weaver Center – Nashville’s safe haven for victims of domestic violence

Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in America. Last year, the Nashville Police Department received 22,302 reports of domestic violence – about one report every 23 minutes. YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee supports hundreds of these survivors as the largest provider of domestic violence services in Tennessee and home to the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, a 65-bed emergency shelter in Nashville.

With funding from The Frist Foundation, the Weaver Center has been able to provide, for more than 20 years, emergency and wraparound services, including food, shelter, medical attention, clothing and therapy to women and children (and even shelter for their pets) who seek refuge from unsafe domestic situations. In 2022, the Weaver Center served 238 adults and 169 children, housing them for more than 13,000 nights. That same year, the Weaver Center’s crisis hotline answered over 5,200 calls.

“You can come literally into the Weaver Center with nothing, not more than the clothes on your back,” says Sharon K. Roberson, the YWCA’s president and CEO. “Because we’ll give you clothing, food and shelter. We’ll help you get your children back in school so they can continue their education. We have children’s activities, we have workshops, counseling for adults and children. We want to help in any way for our survivors to move forward. It’s our mission at the Weaver Center.”

What the Weaver Center does is also about equity – ensuring that all families have access to resources such as mentorship, education and career preparation, which empower them to live independently.

But for Sharon and her team, there’s always more families to serve, more services to provide, and more to do. “We have to turn away too many people. My vision would be for us to continue to provide state-of-the-art domestic violence services from a trauma-informed lens and provide equity in this community for individuals who are in need of our support.”