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Springfield Police Launch a Domestic Violence Campaign

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department begins a campaign to empower victims of domestic violence to leave the their situation and start new lives.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In an effort to shift the power of domestic violence, the Springfield Police Department is in the middle of a campaign to empower victims to leave the violent situation they find themselves in and start new lives.

The campaign was launched after a significant spike of family violence in the area. In October 2012, police noticed domestic assault cases jump to nearly 2,500 incidents, hundreds more than the year before.

The Family Violence Task Force hopes their public service announcement will speak to domestic violence victims.

“I was in a three-year marriage,” says Joe, a domestic violence survivor. “The whole three years was domestic violence.”

Joe says she never thought about the need for shelter until the bad got worse.

“Seven months ago he put me in the ICU,” says Joe. “I was so scared to leave because I didn’t have any independence. Thankfully, I had some really good neighbors that did call the police for me.”

Some in the community hope that working together will make a big enough impact.

“When we all come together to work on the issue of domestic violence and the community takes that on, that will make a big difference for us,” says Patty Ingle, of the Harmony House.

The issue of domestic violence isn’t new to Springfield, but the number of cases alarmed the Springfield Police Department, says Captain Dave Millsap.

“Springfield and Greene County had one of the highest rates in the state of reported domestic violence as we do child abuse,” says Millsap.

Millsap says police and prosecutors have put an emphasis on repeat offenders, but they need help from the community.

Joe says simply helping someone know there is help available can save a life and she has a message for those in a domestic violence relationship.

“The women out there that are in a domestic violence (relationship), get out,” says Joe. “Get out. You know there are places.”

Springfield police say they understand this campaign may cause domestic violence report numbers to go up again if more people step forward, but this is an issue they say they want to shed light on.

The Springfield Police Department and Greene County Prosecutors Office, along with Harmony House, are bringing in domestic violence lecturer and survivor Mark Wynn for a Stop the Violence Conference on Oct. 11.

You can register for the conference by calling 417-864-1786, or learn more here.

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