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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City agency known for helping domestic violence survivors needs help from the public.

Newhouse is planning a special Halloween party for families affected by domestic abuse, but the shelter can’t do it without some key elements — including candy. That sweet stuff many of us take for granted means a lot to kids during the worst times of their lives.

Newhouse counselors hope to raise the spirits of children staying at their shelter with a special Trunk or Treat party, which is planned for next Thursday. Donors have already delivered costumes for the younger residents at the shelter. Residents plan to decorate their doors, too.

Now, Newhouse administrators hope the public will share packages of Halloween candy. The shelter’s website has this link where donors can use a Amazon Wish List to donate. Shelter directors may need enough candy to treat up to 75 kids.

“We’re trying to make it as normal, fun and exciting as possible, just so they can forget, or put the trauma in the back of their head so they can just be a kid,” said Brittany Leathers, Newhouse’s Director of Educational Innovation.

Leathers said many people overlook the effects domestic violence has on children, whether they’ve witnessed it or they’ve survived it directly.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Thursday is National Take Action Against Domestic Violence Day. The downtown Kansas City skyline is scheduled to glow in purple to show support for survivors.

Rachel Hodgson, Newhouse’s marketing director, cited statistics that indicate problems related to domestic abuse rise toward the holiday season.

“When you walk around our shelter, you see strength, you see courage. You also see some really hurt people who are in the middle of healing. It breaks your heart the things that happen to really innocent people,” Hodgson said.

Newhouse leaders also point to statistics that children who witness domestic violence in their homes are much more likely to commit acts of abuse in the future — and that number is substantially higher for young boys.

The hope is next Thursday’s display of Halloween fun can help lead to brighter days. 

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