Domestic violence a major problem in Memphis, victim advocate says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two years ago, Joshua Wicks was accused of trying to use a broom to attack his sister at their Oakhaven home. The victim went on to tell police Wicks did manage to grab her by her head, dragging her across the hallway.

Police say Quintaurus Howard attacked his girlfriend at a Lamar Avenue motel, allegedly grabbing her by the mouth, placing his fingers inside her jaw and spinning her head around.

Both men are going before Shelby County judges, this week, two of the more than 20,000 domestic violence calls Memphis Police respond to each year.

And that doesn't include the cases that go unreported, said victim advocate Joyce Kyles, executive director of Walking Into A New Life.

"We need to educate our community about knowing what the signs are and getting help and knowing that help is indeed available," she said.

Kyles says taking a stand for domestic violence victims and survivors is her life's mission.

"I am celebrating my 11th year as a survivor of domestic violence," Kyles said. "I still take it personal."

Unfortunately domestic violence happens more often than we think, she said.

"There are so many more, and I am among those who never reported it," she said.

Until it's brought to the forefront, Kyles is concerned the cycle of abuse will continue, leaving more victims in its wake.

If you or someone you know needs help, the 24/7 domestic violence hotline for Shelby County is 901-249-7611.

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