With nearly 1,000 reports so far this year, domestic violence groups join for community discussion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — So far this year, Kansas City police have received 951 reports of domestic violence.

Leaders from half a dozen domestic violence organizations joined forces Thursday for a community conversation.

“One in four women at some point in her life will be a victim of domestic violence, so most likely you know someone,” said Hope House CEO MaryAnn Metheny.

She was one of a half dozen advocates that participated in the domestic violence awareness conference, "When Violence Hits Home."

“Violence is happening in our country in alarming rates,” Metheny said. “Three women are killed in our country every day due to domestic violence.”

Jessica McClellan is a domestic violence survivor herself. She's the founder of Giving Hope and Help, which supports agencies that work with victims of domestic violence.

“When domestic violence hits home, it is piercing. It is a lifetime of overcoming, but you can move forward,” McClellan said. “It hit home with my family last week.”

McClellan’s cousin is one of the women killed March 5 at a home on East 48th Street. She was shot by her 5-year-old daughter’s father. The suspect also killed his 17-year old-cousin, Armani Johnson.

“I will forever speak out, stand up against this horrible epidemic of domestic violence and support those who have been affected by it,” McClellan said.

Metheny said in the fight to end domestic violence, there's hope.

“What is working is that we are starting to talk about it,” Metheny said. “We are having more conversation on a local level, on the national level, and that is really important because we are never going to end this if we don’t come together to talk about it.”

If you or a loved one needs help or information, call the metro's domestic violence hotline at 816-HOT-LINE.