Grant will help local domestic violence victims get the help they need

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Friends don’t let friends batter. That’s the message from the Kansas City Police Department.

The police are teaming up with other local organizations to help fight domestic violence.

FOX4's Kerri Stowell has more with how a grant will help women and men get the help they need.

It’s one of those things many people are afraid to talk about -- domestic violence. Police officers want you to know, it’s okay to ask for help.

Officer Kimberlee Shaw-Ellis is a diversity officer. She said there are several organizations in the metro that can help domestic abuse victims, both women and men, get back on their feet.

Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to help men. Many men don’t report abuse.

Officer Ellis-Shaw believes it’s important help connect victims, regardless of gender, to an organization that will be the best fit.

That’s where the city’s health department is stepping up to help. It recently received a 3-year grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice.

The goal: work with local shelters and the police department to bridge the gap between the two.

“We can’t do this by ourselves. We can’t make a difference by ourselves. It has to be us together. We all have to work together. To provide safety, security and support to our community. In all facets of the community. As a diversity officer it’s exciting to be able to make those connections," Officer Kimberlee Shaw-Ellis said.

“Housing is a matter of health. If you’re housed, you are going to have better health outcomes both individually and in a group," said Kate Resch with the Kansas City Health Department. "Individuals who have HIV are more likely to experience homelessness and more likely to experience domestic violence. There’s a great deal of people who are stuck at that intersection and there unaware of the resources available to them."

If you are experiencing domestic violence, see the resources below:

If you are experiencing sexual violence or rape  or know someone who is, call the Metro Organization to Counter Sexual Violence at (816) 531-0233 or (913) 642-0233. It’s a local treatment center and all services are free.