Stop the Violence conference highlights domestic violence cases in Springfield
The sixth annual Stop the Violence conference was held Thursday at Missouri State, focusing on domestic violence.
More than 500 showed up to learn more about domestic violence from law enforcement, prosecutors, and those who offer resources to victims.
The Greene County Family Justice Center has been open since October.
"We have been open for five months and in that five months we have seen about 600 people." said Jamie Willis, with the Greene County Family Justice Center.
Something that Jamie says is a bittersweet feeling.
"We all wish that we didn't have to have a place like this, but it is great to know that people are comfortable coming to us," said Willis. "Seeing those 600, that is a lot of people, but seeing each individual come through and get help, it feels really great."
The Springfield Police Department says domestic violence was down in 2018.
There were more than 2,700 reports filed, down about 1,000 from prior years.
"Numbers are declining but it is still really high." Willis said.
It is a team effort between the Family Justice Center and other resources to help those victims.
"If they have somebody that they come across who is needing help. They will help them with the resources that they have and then they will send them over our way." said Katya Urvina, with Harmony House.
Urvina says it is events like Stop the Violence that gives victims or people who know a victim an idea of where to start if they suffer from domestic violence.
"The more events that we have like this, the more outreach that we have, the more word to word that we have, that is the most that we can do to make the situation better." said Urvina.
"The conversation changes from year to year. And people that don't work in the field day to day, it gives them a chance to learn new things." said Willis.