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Knoxville artist honors domestic violence victims with new mural

Bobbie Crews introduces the latest addition to her collection at Knoxville Family Justice Center.
Credit: Bobbie Crews

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Family Justice Center (FJC), a safe haven for domestic violence victims and services in Knoxville and Knox County, proudly hosts a collection of work from Bobbie Crews on display.

Crews is known locally for her vibrant chalkboard murals at Aubrey’s restaurants and recognized internationally for her portraits of people and antique automobiles. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and victim support has always been important to Crews, who uses her art to inspire victims and inform the public.

She worked closely with domestic violence victims at the Family Justice Center to create “The Survivor Project” - a series of watercolors portraying the faces of victims as they share their stories. 

“I wanted to tell their story without giving away their identities,” Crews said of her interviews with survivors. “Even though it was quite emotional, many of the subjects said they finally felt heard. 

The Knoxville Family Justice Center (FJC) brings all domestic violence services to one central location so that victims can receive the fastest, safest help possible.

Crews’ latest piece, Justice 4 Me 2, will be added to the collections that reign the halls of the Family Justice Center to honor the survivors of domestic violence and bring awareness and education to the community.

Credit: Bobbie Crews

Crews has given permission for the new design to be incorporated into the FJC’s overall branding campaign.

The Knoxville FJC is one of only 15 Family Justice Centers nationwide that were created by a Presidential Initiative in 2006. 

The purpose of the Centers is to provide better support and outcomes for victims of domestic violence by bringing together professionals who provide an array of services.

Prior to our founding, victims would have to visit up to 20 different locations to get the help they needed, but now the FJC has multiple agencies in one location with free parking, enabling clients to access multiple services in just 2-3 hours’ time.

 With the support of the community, the FJC also provides assistance with free trauma counseling, bus passes, gas cards and cab fare.

“Domestic violence is an issue that people often push out of their minds,” said executive director Amy Dilworth. “We needed a way to humanize and validate the lives touched by violence, and Bobbie helped us do that.”