Domestic violence survivors speak out following Jovan Belcher murder-suicide

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Fourteen people in the Kansas City area have died as a result of domestic violence this year. Four of those instances involved murder-suicides.

All too often, victims are too scared or embarrassed to admit to violence that is happening at home.

About five years ago, one survivor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she nearly lost her life to an abusive husband.

"There was physical harm done to me, and I didn't know how to stop it," the woman said.

She describes the night as similar to the one police say Kasandra Perkins went through before her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, shot her to death.

"I'm so glad we didn't have a gun in the house when this happened, because I don't know if I would be here," she said.

About 50 percent of homicides in the Kansas City area are related to domestic violence. That violence crosses all boundaries.

"This happens with just regular, ordinary people all the time. It's not a football thing, it's an anger thing," the woman said.

Jessica Piedra is a survivor of domestic violence as well.

"I never considered myself to be in one of those situations," Piedra said.

Piedra is an attorney, one who helps others daily.

"That wasn't supposed to be me, I was supposed to be helping others get out of the situation," she said.

"My ex-husband denied it even happened, and wouldn't acknowledge that he put his hands on me. When he did, he said it was my fault, and it was really terrifying," she said.

Both women admit they went through a lot, but said they were so terrified that it took them quite some time to speak up and get help.

"It's so hard to tell people about it, and to be afraid of the person that's supposed to love you the most," the anonymous woman said.

Protecting yourself and your kids, is all that matters. Both women said they now know this, and hope those in similar situations come to the realization sooner than they did.

"Be safe, and know that it will only get worse," Piedra said.

If you're in an violent situation, you can contact the domestic abuse centers in the Kansas City area below:

Rose Brooks: 816-861-8600
Hope House: 816-461-HOPE or 816-HOTLINE
New House: 816-471-5800
Safe Home: 913-262-2868

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