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National study: Missouri ranks second in the nation in number of women murdered by men

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:49 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri ranks second in the nation in the number of women murdered by men, according to a national study by the Violence Policy Center.

“Southwest Missouri and Missouri as a whole experience such high rates of domestic violence and violence against women as a whole," Executive Director at The Victim Center, Brandi Bartel, says.

The national study reports that, in 2018, 73 women were murdered by men in Missouri. Of those victims, 92% were murdered by someone they knew.

The victim center in Springfield says that’s common for victims of domestic abuse.

“The majority of crimes that are reported to law enforcement and also of those who reach out to victim services organizations, like the victim center, do know who perpetrated the crime against them," Bartel says.

The Springfield Police Department reported that of the six female homicide victims in 2018, two of them were domestic homicides. The Victim Center says there are a lot of people who never report domestic violence to law enforcement.

If a person does try to leave a domestic violence relationship, the first 60 to 90 days after are the most dangerous.

“When you have a person who’s in this environment with little to zero resources and then potentially they try to leave a relationship without having a safety plan in place, that does increase their risk factor for something much more dangerous," Bartel says. "In this case, death.”

There’s a series of ten questions victims may be asked, and how they answer shows if they are at greater risk of being assaulted or killed by someone they know.

“It’s a very emotional thing for somebody to be told ‘you’re in extreme danger, and so we want you to proceed with caution’ and so it is not as simple as packing a bag and running out the door," Bartel says. "Rather, it is a multi-step process that happens over time, slowly, with support.”

The victim center provides free resources to any individual who has survived violent or sexual crime.

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