Brochures in the lobby of the Greene County Family Justice Center promote and explain a variety of social services available to victims of abuse. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Part of a series on domestic violence in Springfield and Greene County.

After hours and emergency services

For emergency situations, call 911.

The Victim Center and Harmony House partner to operate the 24-hour crisis line: 417-864-7233 (SAFE)

  • Call the crisis line for telephone support, immediate crisis intervention, crisis counseling and referral services when appropriate. 
  • This line is answered by a trained volunteer victim advocate or a professional staff member. Advocates are available to talk on the phone or will meet at a hospital or police department. 

If a victim is a child, report the abuse by calling 911 or by calling the Missouri Children’s Division Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-800-392-3738.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788. 

Tips for safety planning

It is also important for people in an abusive relationship to do safety planning.

Family Justice Center

The Greene County Family Justice Center is a one-stop shop for victims of any kind of abuse. It is at 1418 E. Pythian St., in the former Tefft school building. 

Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

All services are free and confidential, and there’s no limit to the number of times a person can seek help or information.

The Family Justice Center is staffed by representatives from law enforcement, the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, the Missouri Children’s Division, legal services and advocates from the Victim Center and Harmony House. They are all in one secure location.

The client chooses the agencies that will become involved in their situation. When someone comes to the center, they are paired with a navigator — an employee of either the Victim Center or Harmony House — who explains what service providers are at the center. The person seeking help decides who they want to meet.

Victims are welcome at any point in the process — whether they are interested in learning more about safety planning and what services are available, or if they want to leave an abusive relationship, file for a protection order or talk to law enforcement about charges. 

Call 417-874-2600 to learn more about the Greene County Family Justice Center.

You can help: If you would like to support the Family Justice Center, they have a list on their website of needed supplies. The Center also provides internships and volunteer opportunities.

Victim Center

The Victim Center is another resource for victims of any kind of abuse. All services — including education, counseling and victim advocacy — are free.

The center’s 24-hour crisis response line never closes and can be reached by calling 417-864-7233 (SAFE). This number is for individuals who want to talk to an advocate.

The Victim Center is at 815 W. Tampa St., and walk-ins are welcome from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The Victim Center’s navigators at the Family Justice Center are available for walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

You can help: Go to their website to learn how to support the Victim Center through in-kind donations or financial support.

Harmony House

Harmony House is Greene County’s only shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. In addition to shelter services, Harmony House offers free victim advocacy, counseling and case management. They can help with safety planning and support for victims who are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship. For information, call 417-837-7700. 

You can help: Learn more about how you can support Harmony House, through gifts of supplies, donations or volunteering, on their website.

Legal Services

Legal Services of Southern Missouri provides legal representation to the low income and elderly in civil matters only, including orders of protection and safety plans. Other services include divorces, child custody, immigration and legal matters related to victimization. The organization works with state and federal prosecutors, law enforcement and victim advocates. Call 800-444-4863.

You can help: Private attorneys are encouraged to volunteer with Legal Services, and others may provide financial and other support. Learn more through their website.

How to support someone you suspect is being abused

If you suspect someone close to you is experiencing some form of sexual or domestic violence, you can:

  • Listen without judging and don’t rush to provide a solution. Remember the victim is not responsible for someone else’s abusive or violent behavior.
  • Believe them. Let them know you support them and ask what you can do to help.
  • Support them. Let them know you care about them and let them know it isn’t their fault. Offer to go with them to talk to someone.
  • Help them to make their own decisions and get the resources they need rather than doing it for them.
  • Encourage them to contact a local program, such as the Greene County Family Justice Center, the Victim Center or Harmony House. These are places where they can talk to a trained advocate, find safe shelter, and get the resources they need to break the cycle.
  • Be part of their safety planning. Whether they are leaving, staying or unsure about their next steps, planning for their safety is key.
  • Maintain their confidentiality. Do not share this information with anyone else without the specific permission of the victim.
  • Understand that healing is a process that is different for each person. Express compassion, nonjudgmental support and acceptance.

—  Source: Jane Doe Inc.