The number of domestic violence survivors staying in Harmony House in Springfield decreased in 2019 for the first time in a decade.
Lisa Farmer, the Executive Director at Harmony House, says the numbers decreased by 10 people from 2018 to 2019. Those numbers are small, but they’re headed in the right direction. Farmer suspects the decrease may have to do with the city’s new Family Justice Center and awareness efforts.
“We’re hoping this means our community is turning a corner on domestic violence. Obviously it’s too early to tell, you know, we won’t know for another year or two if this is the beginning of a trend or if this was just an anomaly,” Farmer said.
The numbers here in Springfield aren’t reflected statewide. Matthew Huffman, a spokesman for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, says the numbers for services offered are expected to have gone up across Missouri for 2019.
According to the statewide domestic violence advocacy group, more than 30,000 requests for shelter and services were unmet in 2018 in Missouri alone.