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; outreach; 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:
417-837-7700, ext. 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org