The Knoxville Family Justice Center

The Knoxville Family Justice Center is a walk-in center. You do not need an appointment.


We are open Monday–Friday from 8:00am–4:00pm.

We are closed on these holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Wednesday before Thanksgiving after noon, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Outside of normal business hours, if you need immediate assistance, the 24/7 local domestic violence hotline is 865-637-8000.

If you are not local, the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

If you are having an emergency, please call 911.


The Knoxville Family Justice Center is a safe place with caring and trained staff available to help victims of domestic violence and their children. Some of our services for victims of domestic violence include:

  • Safety planning
  • Danger assessments
  • Orders of Protection
  • Prosecution
  • Civil legal assistance
  • Access to shelter
  • Access to emergency pet shelter
  • Access to housing (short- and long-term)
  • Counseling referrals
  • Support group referrals
  • Employment assistance referrals
  • Childcare assistance referrals

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t speak English?

For phone calls, we can connect with a language line for interpretive services. For in-person visits, we can schedule an interpreter to be here in person with you as you meet with our staff and advocates.

What if I am an undocumented immigrant?

Federal and state laws provide protection for all victims of domestic violence, regardless of immigration status. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), no person in the United States can be denied domestic violence services, including accessing the legal system and the courts, based on citizenship. In fact, under the Immigration Reform Act and VAWA, rather than risking deportation, undocumented victims of crime can obtain immigration relief and special visas.

Do you all do background checks? What if I have a criminal history?

According to the Tennessee Family Justice Center Statewide Alliance guidlines, the purpose of a family justice center is to facilitate and coordinate services to victims, therefore programming specifically for offenders cannot be offered onsite at a family justice center, such as batterers intervention classes, supervised child visitation programs, or court-ordered domestic violence or sexual assault offender programming.

However, regarding services and programming for victims, a family justice center cannot deny victim services offered onsite at a family justice center on the grounds of suspected or confirmed criminal history or conduct criminal background or warrant checks on victims without their express, prior, written consent. Clients are not required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to receive victim services.

That being said, we do have both city and county law enforcement agencies in our building available to work with victims seeking legal recourse for their abuse. If a client chooses to work with a law enforcement agency rather than an advocate from one of the nonprofit organizations also available in the building, then that client has chosen to participate in the criminal justice system and maybe subject to criminal background or warrant checks.

If you have questions, please call (865) 521-6336.

If I’m not from Knox County, can I still get help at the Knoxville Family Justice Center?

We can provide many of our services to victims who are not residents of Knox County, such as safety planning, assistance accessing emergency shelter, etc.

However, if you want to access the legal system and the courts by filing an Order of Protection, pressing charges, etc., then either your abuser must live in Knox County or the abuse must have happened in Knox County in order for us to help you because of jurisdiction limits.

What if I don’t have transportation?

We can provide many services over the phone, so you can always call us at (865) 521-6336 if you prefer not to come to our physical location because of COVID-19 concerns, lack of transportation, or any other reason.

However, we strongly recommend that you come in person if you can. If you do not have transportation, please call us at (865) 521-6336 and let us know, and we will do what we can to help.

If you do have transportation, know that, although we are located near downtown Knoxville, we have a large parking lot and parking is free.

What should I bring?

We recommend bringing your I.D. and your police report card (if you have one). However, having an I.D. is not required to receive services. We can still help you even if you don’t have I.D.

Can I bring my children with me?

Yes, absolutely! We do not provide childcare; however, we can give your child a “busy bag” of toys, coloring books, snacks, etc. to keep them occupied while you meet with an advocate.

What will happen once I get there?
  1. You will come through the main entrance (under the red, “Family Justice Center” awning) into our main lobby.
  2. A police officer, stationed there for security purposes, will ask you a couple of questions to gather some very basic information, have you lock away any bags in one of our lockers, and then direct you to our client services area.

    Although law enforcement advocates and officers are in the building to keep everyone safe and to work with victims who want to work with law enforcement, you are not required to work with law enforcement if you come here. We have advocates here from different nonprofit organizations as well that you can work with instead if you so choose.

    If you have any reservations about the initial check-in process, you can call us at (865) 521-6336, and someone from our staff can meet you in the lobby to accompany you.

  3. Once you have accessed our secured client services area, you will be guided to a private room where you will meet briefly with someone from our staff. That staff member will walk you through what resources and services are available and then let you know which advocates from which different agencies and organizations are available to meet with you and work with you.

    At the Knoxville Family Justice Center, there are multiple different agencies/organizations that have advocates and staff located here. Both city and county law enforcement agencies have advocates and officers here as well as different nonprofit organizations. Which agency/organization you want to work with is your choice.

    Our staff member will walk you through the different options for services and then help you fill out any initial necessary paperwork.

  4. Once you’ve chosen which agency/organization you want to work with, you will meet with an advocate from that agency/organization. That advocate will be the one to hear your full story, provide you with services—safety planning, filing for an Order of Protection, accessing emergency shelter, etc.—and be your point of contact moving forward.

    If, for some reason, there is a conflict with the agency/organization of your choice, you will have the option to choose from the other available agencies/organizations in the building.

How long will the process take?

It really depends on your situation and how many different services you and your advocate may determine that you need—e.g., whether you want to file for an Order of Protection, press charges, need emergency shelter, etc. Typically, though, we recommend that you allot two hours to being here.

Will my identity be protected?

Like healthcare providers, we have confidentiality restrictions and will do our part to protect your privacy and not disclose any identifying information.

What does it cost?

There is no cost. All of our services are free of charge.

COVID-19 Notice:

Yes, the Knoxville Family Justice Center is open. Masks are not required to enter the building, although our advocates may request that you wear one while they meet with you. We can provide masks to visitors who do not already have one.

Our advocates can provide many services over the phone, so if you do not feel comfortable coming into the building due to COVID-19 concerns, please call us at (865) 521-6336.

Get the latest COVID-19 information from the Knox County Health Department.