In the Beginning

The work to stop domestic violence in Shelby County started through the National Organization for Women’s Violence Against Women Task Force in the mid and late 1970’s. Angie Dagastino was the coordinator for the Task Force on Wife Abuse here in Shelby County. Next came the establishment of the Wife Abuse Crisis Center in 1977 and the opening of the YWCA shelter in 1982. The Rape Crisis Center was also formed out of that task force. The Memphis/Shelby County Domestic and Sexual Violence Council, formally known as the Shelby County Domestic Violence Council, was formed during the mid 1980’s.

General Body Meetings and Membership

When do we meet? Our meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday in January, March, May, July, September and November at 9:00am at the Aging Commission of the Mid South, 2670 Union Avenue Extended, 10th FL, Conference Room, Memphis, TN 38112.

Is there a cost to attend the meetings? No. They are free to attend and open to the public.

Is membership an option? Absolutely! We strongly encourage individuals and organizations to become a member of the council. As a member, you will have voting rights on corporation issues, elections and will be eligible to serve on the MSDSVC board.

A Message from Our President

Making the transition from victim to survivor is a very personal journey. Every abusive situation is unique, and the circumstances which make escaping abuse difficult vary from person to person. While some victims escape abuse relatively quickly, others struggle in abusive relationships for years.

Whenever the transition decision is made, the entire anti – abuse community needs to be ready to help the person move from victim to survivor.  

The Council’s primary role in the transition is to make sure victims and survivors know about all of the local services and resources that are available to them. The Council brings together all agencies and groups that work against domestic and sexual violence in order to organize and support awareness events throughout the community. Our members include victim advocates, academia, faith based organizations, law enforcement, the court system, nonprofit agencies and grassroots organizations. We welcome all those with a desire to fight against abuse to join us.

To those currently struggling in abusive relationships, please reach out to us at any time. We will do everything within our power to confidentially connect you with the resources and help that you need to escape abuse.

Kevin Reed,

Get Involved

Help us spread awareness and action

Our Board Officers

Phillis Lewis

Vice President

Jasmine Smith


Gayle Wittig