PARSONS, Kan. — Domestic violence cases in Parsons have already more than doubled from all of last year.
“We have been incredibly busy. We have seen a rise in our calls. We’ve seen a rise in those seeking shelter services or other accommodations. We’ve seen a rise in the number of individuals that are reaching out that may not need shelter but need help,” said Brooke Powell, Safehouse Crisis Center Executive Director.
There were a total of 121 in 2022.
So far this year – there are 252 – including 44 in the month of August alone.
“Unfortunately, domestic violence in southeast Kansas is nothing new, especially in the city of Parsons. For the past 25 years, it has been a community struggle,” said Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Department Chief.
The current total is more than the “Parsons Police Department” has seen in the last five years.
And that’s putting a strain on organizations like the Safehouse Crisis Center.
“We certainly appreciate and applaud the efforts of Safe House, which unfortunately, like many helping agencies, are stretched thin,” said Spinks.
“Domestic violence is an issue that affects all of us in some way, shape, or form. It’s in our communities,” said Powell.
Safe House provides free emergency shelter for families.
“It’s very empowerment-based. So it’s giving them options of what do you want to happen next? How do you want your life to look? And okay, we’re going to stand by you and help you get those things accomplished,” said Powell.
There’s no timetable how long the individuals can stay in the emergency shelter.
“There is something so special about seeing a survivor in shelter on day one or two and then seeing them 30 days later, 60 days later, and then see them accomplishing the goals that they’ve set,” said Powell.
Chief Spinks says solving the problem means everyone working together.
“We’re going to have to look to be successful by looking at a multidisciplinary approach and trying to keep the door open to invite as many helping agencies in to support law enforcement. So it’s not just about arrests,” said Spinks.
The Safehouse Crisis Center covers seven counties in Southeast Kansas.