October 23, 2014

Advocate: Belcher murder-suicide draws attention to Missouri issues

An activist against domestic and sexual violence in Missouri says the murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs player over the weekend has drawn attention to those issues in Missouri.

Colleen Coble, Director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, says when Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins on Saturday morning then killed himself, that was the 14th murder-suicide in the Jackson County area this year.

“On average 40 women are killed (annually) in Missouri by a spouse, an ex spouse, an intimate partner. Missouri remains in the top 10 around the country in the number of women killed annually by their intimate partner.”

Coble told the committee in Missouri each year more than 25,000 women and children in the state seek help dealing with domestic or sexual abuse and are turned away. She thanked the Committee for the funding the state has provided to her program in recent years, but urged its members to find more.

“When it’s 2-to-1 in terms of your odds to have a safe place to stay for you and your kids on any given day in the state of Missouri, we have a really serious need that’s not being addressed. In this case, people die sometimes. People die every day if they don’t have a safe place to go, and I know that you agree with me that that’s wrong and that together we can do more about it.”

More than a dozen agencies were represented at the hearing, all asking the legislators to continue, restore or increase funding to their programs.