Arts Tech focuses on domestic violence to reduce homicides

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A community group has identified ending abusive relationships as a key to reducing the homicide rate.

Two women killed Monday on the far east side may be the latest example of the worst form of domestic violence.

That's why Arts Tech is focusing on educating women.

Abusive behavior is sometimes viewed as normal among low income families. A public service campaign seeks to change those perceptions.

"You are into your life, you want it to work," said Dave Sullivan, executive director of Arts Tech. "When it doesn’t you are probably the last person to know. That’s why it takes a community to fight this domestic violence. We have to watch out for ladies or anybody who’s being abused."

As part of No More Week, Arts Tech has produced a public service announcement that it hopes will get the attention of women and make some re-evaluate their own relationships.

Siobahn Collins, a domestic violence survivor, wanted to be part of the project, because she says even after enduring abuse during her marriage of ten years, she knows making the decision to get out isn't an easy one for many women.

"It was a lot of verbal abuse," Collins said. "I got slapped a few times, pushed around. It was just not the way to go. When you have enough, enough is enough."

Organizers of the campaign says Kansas City already has had five murders of women so far this year that may be connected to domestic violence. That doesn't include Monday's police shooting, where officers stopped a man after he killed the mother of his child and a teenaged cousin.

Arts Tech will host a community forum on domestic violence strategies Thursday, which will include starting a podcast for women, by women who have survived and escaped domestic violence relationships.