Missouri's alarming rate of domestic violence - KMOV.com

Missouri's alarming rate of domestic violence

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Experts told News 4 Missouri has one of the highest rates of women being murdered by men.

The National Violence Policy Center said Missouri has the seventh highest rate in the country of women being murdered by men. 98 percent of those women were murdered by a man they knew, many of them were killed while trying to break off an abusive relationship.

The head of Lydia’s House, which provides housing for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, said awareness is what is lacking in Missouri.

“Getting the word out and awareness of what domestic violence is. It’s not all about black eyes and bruises, it’s about that and even deeper,” said Karen Kirk. “Women lose their lives every day to domestic violence so I don’t think awareness is as wide as it should be in Missouri.”

The National Violence Policy Center said Missouri needs to make more resources available to women, teaching them how to get out of abusive situations. It also said programs are needed that can remove firearms from abusive relationships.

One victim told News 4 that fear is biggest obstacle women face when trying to end an abusive relationship.

“It would just be fear, not so much the fear of the person finding you and killing you but fear of everything. Where are you gonna go?” one victim said. “How am I gonna start over. I don’t have resources, fear of the unknown.”

“There’s a lot of factors that play into it, fear of leaving, kids with that person, having to walk away from the whole life you created,” another victim said.

Studies show Illinois has a much lower percentage of women being killed by men. Only two states have a lower percentage of such incidents.

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