Domestic violence shelters face overcrowding, turning away thousands of victims

It can happen to anybody

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mary Anne Metheny says domestic violence can happen to anyone.

As the CEO and President of the Hope House, a local shelter that supports more than 10,000 victims every year, Metheny says there is no face to the issue.

"That's one of the hard things about domestic violence is that you can't just look at somebody and say that person is a victim or that person is an abuser," she said. "It happens to everyone. It doesn't matter what race what age what profession what socio-economic status you have. It can happen to anybody."

While there are a handful of shelters in the area that serve thousands of victims every year, one of the growing problems is the lack of space for victims in shelters across the state. In 2011, 19,000 victims were turned away from domestic violence shelters in Missouri, according to The Missouri Council Against Sexual and Domestic Violence Services.

Jim Bogle, President and CEO of NewHouse, one of the oldest and largest domestic violence shelters in the Kansas City urban core, says overcrowding is an issue at almost every area shelter.

"This time of year is even a bigger issue because of the holidays," Bogle said. " There is stress on the family. Finances and control of the finances is usually center of the problem."

Bogle says there are services available at many area shelters to help victims of domestic violence.

KSHB put together a special called "Domestic Abuse, Breaking the Cycle." In it you'll hear from local survivors and hear their stories. There will also be information on how you can seek help for you or someone you know. Tune in Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. on 38 The Spot.

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