Metro woman shares her experience after leaving an abuser

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Last year research shows over 35,000 calls made on behalf of a domestic violence situations were met with resources. However, the nearly 30,000 additional calls were not able to receive help, including shelter.

FOX4 called a number of metro area shelters and found that many were at capacity and/or did not accept children.

"It's a huge problem," said Meshae Johnson. "You can't tell her to leave, then when she gets the courage to do that you turn her away from the shelter because she has kids."

Meshae Johnson is the founder of 'Step In To',a program dedicated to helping women find resources.

"I have girls that call me in the middle of the night because they are sleeping in their cars with their kids and have nowhere to go," she explained.

Johnson told FOX4 that some women fear going to these shelters because if they don't accept children, they risk losing them to the system.

"The shelters are mandated to make that call, if a woman says she does not have anywhere for them to go and if the man in the home is abusive, no mother is going to send her children back there."

FOX4 spoke with a domestic violence victim who said unraveling from her abuser only got harder once she left.

"I have nowhere to go," she said. "I packed my kids and as much as I could into the car and never cam back; they only have six outfits a piece. We're starting over."

She told FOX4 that many shelters did not accept children and the ones that were made available to her were three hours away.

"I just want Kansas City to have more resources for women and their children who are trying everything they can to get out of the situation."

If you are interested in working with Johnson to finding housing for domestic violence victims with kids, you can contact her at meshae1210@gmail.com.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is in a crisis and needs help, call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at (888) END ABUSE, which is (888) 363-2287. You can visit this link for more resources in Kansas.

Click here for resources in Missouri.

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