KANSAS CITY, Mo – The tragic event involving the murder-suicide of a Chiefs football player is shedding light on the issue of domestic violence Sunday.
Domestic violence shelter Hope House CEO MaryAnne Metheny said it happens everyday.
A moment of silence was held at the Chiefs game Sunday to honor victims of domestic violence and their families. Though no names were said, the players and fans knew what sparked it.
Police said 25-year-old lineman Jovan Belcher shot his live-in girlfriend, 22-year-old Kassandra Perkins, to death at a home on the 5400 block of Crysler early Saturday. Police said Belcher’s mother and the couple’s three-month-old daughter were home when it happened. Police said he then turned the gun on himself at the Chiefs practice facility.
“A young woman has lost her life and a very small little girl who doesn’t have either one of her parents anymore. That to me is tragic,” Metheny said.
Some flowers are placed in front if the home a day later, along with private property signs.
It’s not clear what led to the shooting, but police gave some insight after it happened.
“We heard that they had been arguing in the past. As far as recently, they ha been arguing before the shooting occurred this morning,” said Darin Snapp, a police spokesperson.
Metheny said she can’t speak to this case specifically, but said domestic violence happens everyday in many forms. She said three women die everyday in the U.S. because of it.
“People who have been killed by their intimate partners, only three percent of them ever availed themselves to services,” Metheny said.
She said it makes the shelter realize how much work really needs to be done to reach those afraid to come forward.
“It really is not uncommon in domestic violence situations for neighbors and even family members not to know. There’s a lot of shame and a lot of fear,” she said.
Metheny said most domestic violence cases involve children. She also said it’s not uncommon for the perpetrator to take his or her own life.
If you or someone you know is in a domestically violent relationship, please call (816) 486-5463 for the metro area, or (816) 461-4673.
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