City and county leaders meet to address domestic violence concerns

Missouri

CLAYTON, Mo. – Both city and county leaders joined Monday evening for a community meeting to address domestic violence in St. Louis.

Input has been welcome because leaders want to be more transparent. On Monday, residents learned what resources are available when dealing with domestic violence.

The March 2021 murder of a mother and her two children by her husband has driven leaders to action. Three meetings in three months, all aimed at addressing major concerns in the region.

“We want to be able to answer the questions the public has and things that we in our jobs may not recognize, realize,” said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “It’s a good opportunity to pull that curtain back.”

In March, leaders discussed sexual assault and homicides in April. May’s topic? Domestic violence.

“Victims often feel isolated, alienated, which is the nature, the dynamic of this crime,” Bell said. “It’s important to spread awareness so victims know they are not alone.”

The county prosecutor said domestic violence is a crime that affects not just families but also communities.

Ashley Morgan of Maryland Heights has people close to her who have been affected by domestic violence.

“I think it’s an issue of being afraid and not knowing where to get resources and support. Sometimes victims aren’t heard,” she said.

Morgan said meetings like these are important and provide much-needed learning opportunities.

“I always look for opportunities to get involved and this is a great way to get involved in the community and have your voice heard,” she said.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones made the trip to the county Monday evening. She said this is a chance for everyone to learn.

“I think that our tests have to become our testimony,” she said. “The things that we experience, if we aren’t transparent with them and share them with other people, they may not know how to access the system that can eventually get them help.”

The meetings will continue once a month with more community engagement projects to come.

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