by Intisar Faulkner

Although overall crime rates may be decreasing in Springfield, cases of domestic violence are at an all time high. Ester Munch, director of development and marketing at Harmony House, a shelter and advocacy organization, expresses the importance of domestic violence awareness.

“There are 114 counties in the state of Missouri and Greene County is number 2 in the rate of domestic incidents,” said Munch.

Next month is domestic violence awareness month, and Harmony House is doing all it can to support victims. The organization provides shelter to more than 700 women and children escaping domestic violence and offer outreach, support and prevention education services.

“A lot of people don’t realize that Harmony House is the largest shelter of children in Springfield. Out of 110 people that live with us, over half of those are children. So our child care services are massively important,” said Munch. “Last year alone, we had to turn away 1,905 individuals that qualified for shelter. So their lives were in eminent danger ans we just didn’t have a bed.”

So far the shelter has raised just over 2.5 million of 4.4 million dollar campaign. For more information on domestic violence prevention and ways you can support harmony house, visit