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Harmony House Responds to the National Conversation on Domestic Violence


September 17, 2014 – Springfield, MO:  Over the last few  weeks domestic violence has come out of the shadows to be at the forefront of a national conversation.  Locally, over the summer our community experienced two horrific homicides that occurred as a result of domestic violence.  We are deeply saddened that it’s taken the lives of two local women and the beatings involving players in the NFL to elevate the subject of violence against women to the forefront of our media and dinner table conversations.  However, it is our hope that this national discourse will serve to educate our community and our nation about a problem that is all too often hidden and overlooked. 


National data suggests that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. Every year, 1 in 3 female victims of homicide are found to have been murdered by her current or former partner.  Locally, recent Springfield Police Department data indicates that 54% of all felonious assaults are domestic violence related.   While these numbers are tragic in and of themselves, one of the most heart breaking aspects of domestic violence is the children.  Every year more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in the one place they should be safe – their homes.  National statistics show that between 30% - 60% of children who live in domestic violence situations also suffer abuse or neglect. Additionally, children who live in abusive situations learn that violent relationships are acceptable and risk growing into adults who repeat the pattern of either victim or abuser in their own lives.


 In addition to the profound emotional and physical impact domestic violence has upon women and children who live in abusive situations, domestic violence has deep and significant ramifications for our community and society as a whole.  It is a leading cause of homelessness; it has tremendous impact upon our healthcare system, with up to 30% of all ER visits being domestic violence related; nationally it costs our law enforcement agencies more than $37 billion a year; and last but certainly not least, it impacts our workplaces through low productivity, lost work days and increased risk for workplace violence. 


Harmony House believes everyone deserves a life free from abuse and that violence against women should always be front page news.  We are hopeful that something positive will come from these recent and seemingly ongoing tragedies.  It is our hope that we can help inform and educate the public about domestic violence and that the community will rally behind local efforts to end domestic violence.  To learn more about how to help please contact Harmony House at 417-837-7700 or visit us online at  www.myharmonyhouse.org


About Harmony House

Established in 1976, Harmony House is Missouri’s oldest domestic violence shelter and has served over 16,000 survivors of domestic violence since first opening its’ doors.  Our mission is to provide shelter, advocacy and education to survivors of domestic violence while promoting the principle that all individuals have the right to a life free of abuse.  Harmony House provides shelter and a range of support services to both women and children, including clothing, food and other necessities; case management; life skills classes; childcare and children’s advocacy services; court, legal accompaniment and advocacy; transitional housing; employment assistance; transportation and a crisis hotline answered 24/7.  For more information on Harmony House, please call 417-837-7700 or visit us online at www.myharmonyhouse.org


For more information contact:

Lisa Farmer

Executive Director

Harmony House

417-837-7700, ext. 204 or email lfarmer@myharmonyhouse.org






Need Help?

You are not alone

  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger!
  • Call the Harmony House Safeline for 24 hour assistance 417.864.7233 or 1.800.831.6863.
  • Email Harmony House.
  • Talk to someone you trust about what is happening and make an emergency kit that includes money, medications, keys and important documents. Be sure to discuss safety with your children and how they can get help if violence occurs.

Safety Plan

Protecting Yourself

If you are at home and you are being threatened or attacked:

  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help; get the dispatcher's name.
  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives there).
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets, or small spaces where the abuser can trap you.
  • Go to a room with a door or window escape.
  • Go to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can.
  • Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help.
  • If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name and badge number.
  • Get medical help if you are hurt.
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries.
  • Call a domestic violence program or shelter; ask them to help you make a safety plan.

How to Protect Yourself at Home:

  • Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers.
  • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside.
  • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; put locks on the windows.
  • Plan an escape route out of your home: teach it to your children.
  • Think about where you would go if you need to escape.
  • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on.
  • Pack a bag with important things you'd need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust.
  • Include cash, car keys, and important information such as court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical records, medicines and immigration papers.
  • Get an unlisted and unpublished phone number.
  • Block caller ID.
  • Use an answering machine; screen the calls.

How to Protect Yourself Outside the Home:

  • Change your regular travel habits.
  • Try to get rides with different people.
  • Shop and bank in different locations.
  • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank.
  • Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you at all times.

How to Make Yourself Safer at Work:

  • Keep a copy of your court order at work.
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work.
  • Tell your supervisors what is happening.
  • Don't go to lunch alone.
  • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car.
  • Save messages the abuser might leave you at work.


More Information on Domestic Violence:

Helpful Numbers:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.7233
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 800.422.4453
  • Elderly Abuse Hotline 800.329.0210
  • Parent Stress Hotline 800.367.2543
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network 800-656-4673
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-784-2433

Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship

    Does someone you love...

  • Withhold approval or affection as punishment?
  • Continually criticize you, call you names or shout at you?
  • Ignore your feelings?
  • Become very jealous or harass you about imagined affairs?
  • Manipulate you with lies and contradictions?
  • Insist you dress a certain way?
  • Humiliate you in private or in public?
  • Insult or drive away your family?
  • Punch, slap, shove, bite, kick, strangle or hit you?
  • Rape you or force you to participate in sexual activity which is unacceptable to you?
  • Threaten to kidnap the children, commit suicide, or kill you or a family member if you leave?

If you answered "yes" even once, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Survivor Stories

For years I dreamed of a better life. That has nothing to do with money, or cars, or clothes. It has to do with other things. When I look back I am amazed. I am amazed that I survived and I am amazed that I was ever that insecure. So insecure that I let myself be defined by the relationship I was in. So insecure that my identity became--VICTIM!

For years I dreamed of a better life. I was so young and so afraid that all the people telling me I was ugly and worthless were right. I would rather live in fear every day inside my own home than live in that home alone. So insecure that my identity became--STUPID!

For years I have lived a better life. I almost lost my life because of the fear of learning who I really am. Now that I know what I was missing I can breathe. I can throw my arms out and throw my head back and spin in circles! So secure that my identity is now--FREE!!!!!


“I appreciate Harmony House, it’s the best program I have been to because Harmony House actually helps fix peoples problems and helps in every area needed to get us ready to face life again on our own.  Once ready and able to move on, a great plus to leaving Harmony House is that it’s still supportive and cares, thanks for outreach as well.  You guys rock!”


Send us your survivor stories.