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Join us in fight against

domestic violence

In honor of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we take this opportunity to reflect on our community’s response to crimes of domestic violence.

Last year, the St. Joseph Police Department responded to 4,488 calls for assistance related to domestic assault — an average of more than 12 calls per day. As part of a collaborative partnership between local law enforcement and YWCA, officers responding to the scene of a domestic assault, between current or former intimate partners, administered an 11-question lethality assessment to identify victims who were at high danger for serious injury or death. In an effort to connect those high-danger victims to life-saving shelter and other advocacy services, law enforcement made 738 calls to YWCA’s 24-hour crisis hotline.

During this same period, the YWCA provided nearly 10,000 hours of services to 1,361 individuals, which included 524 individuals who received emergency, protective shelter. Of those who received shelter, nearly half were children. Our shelter operated at an occupancy rate of 110%, averaging 49 people per day in our 45-bed facility. Despite our best efforts to serve everyone in need, we were unable to provide shelter to 347 individuals.

For those who are interested in taking action to support survivors of domestic violence, we encourage you to contact us and like our page on social media. We have many opportunities for people to become involved such as volunteering, donating and public policy advocacy.

A 5 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the YWCA, we invite the community to join us for our annual Take Back the Night event. At this event, we will remember victims, honor survivors and recognize an outstanding community partner.

Kim Kempf

Victim Services Director,

YWCA St. Joseph

Missouri needs

to expand Medicaid

In an editorial concerning Medicaid expansion appearing in the Oct. 2 News-Press, the editorialists imply that citizen-driven ballot initiatives are devious in that they circumvent the Republican legislature in Jefferson City. Gracious!

So, a legal vote by the people utilizing democratic principles is somehow subversive because, or, as the editorialists put it, “does an end-around” Republican state legislators, who have been politicizing this issue for nine years.

For the first three years, the federal government paid 100% of the cost and even now would pay 90% of the cost of expansion. The expansion would give access to health care to thousands of impoverished Missourians, many of whom live in rural areas misrepresented by their Republican legislators.

Five Missouri rural hospitals have been forced to close.

Frustrated by the obvious political bias of our Republican legislators, the citizens of Missouri have initiated a petition calling for the expansion of Medicaid in our state.

Expanding Medicaid is the right thing to do and has been shown by our own state university to be economically sound. Thirty-seven other states have expanded Medicaid without “going under.” It’s our turn to step up to the plate. Let’s get it done.

Robert Stuber, M.D.

St. Joseph