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Take Back the Night recognizes domestic violence survivors

The event is part of the YWCA's recognition of National Domestic Abuse Month

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 11:00 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2019 9:45 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  --  Statistics show that one in four women will at some time in their lives be a victim of domestic violence. The YWCA took time on Monday to remember and honor those surviviors.

"You think about the number of women in your life. That's the number of folks who are treated badly," said Kim Kempf, YWCA's victim's services director. "It's one of those topics that's uncomfortable sometimes uncomfortable for people."

During the Take Back the Night ceremony, YWCA CEO Tammy Killin spoke of surviving her own violent relationship. Even though she's written a book about the topic, she says it's still emotional talking about it in public.

"This is part of my journey to help others be honest and not be so ashamed," Killen said. "We wouldn't be ashamed if we were a survivor of a tornado."

The YWCA recognized St. Joseph Police Department Detective Jason Strong for his outstanding service to victims of violence. He says it's a tough field to investigate, but adds he's glad he's there to help.

"You have to approach every circumstance and every victim and try to treat them with the most respect and try to get them help and services and point them in the right direction," Strong said. "Hopefully, the end result is there won't be recitivism."

The event Monday is part of Domestic Abuse Survivors Month. Those who have been there to help victims of abuse over the years say they are pleased about the extra attention focused on the issue and happy there are more resources out there to help.

"Today we have the shelter, we have Bliss Manor which is our 30 unit housing program," Kempf said. "We have outreach advocates, we have therapists. We've really come a long way."

Statewide, there were 45,000 incidents of domestic violence recorded in Missouri.

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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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