Shelters work to spread awareness about the plight of domestic violence

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thursday marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Month, and groups wanting to spread awareness about how to help those in danger are speaking out about how victims can get help.

Here are some other shocking statistics:

One in four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. In the United States, 1,500 women are killed each year, and in Kansas City, there has been a drastic increase. Through September, as compared to all of 2014, domestic homicides are up 21 percent. Fourteen women have been killed so far this year.

Women’s shelters across the metro are using this month to reach out to victims and let them know there is a safe way to get out of a violent situation, but it is not just to raise awareness among victims, it is also for people who know someone who may be experiencing domestic violence.

Marla Svoboda with the Rose Brooks Center says the most important thing is to believe the victim and not get frustrated if they don't leave right away.

"A woman who is in a domestic violence situation knows her own situation best, more than anyone, and while it may be best looking from the outside for her to leave, it may not be safe for her to leave. More women get killed after they leave than when they are in the situation," Svoboda said.

Svoboda says gun violence is the leading cause of domestic homicides. To kick off Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Rose Brooks Center held a free reception at the Blue Gallery on Southwest Boulevard.