Woman Who Was Champion for Victims of Domestic Violence Dies of Suspicion of Domestic Violence | St. Louis News Headlines

TROY, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Leslie Reeves, 45, of Troy, Illinois, is remembered as someone who did all she could to protect women from domestic violence.

A 48-year-old Collinsville man is accused of shooting his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day.

Dawn Mushill was a friend and executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.

“She advocated for domestic violence and for women who were in situations where they had to either stand up for themselves or get out of the situation,” Mushill recalled.

On Thanksgiving Day, agents were called to a house 100 block from Nobbie Street in Farmersville, Ill. For a welfare check. When MPs arrived they found Reeves shot and the man living there with serious injuries. Robert Tarr, 48, Reeves’ ex-boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder. His bond was set at $ 2 million.

In 2013, Reeves opened a fitness studio and party room in Troy. There she facilitated a weekly yoga class and support group for victims of domestic violence. Reeves also taught self-defense classes and gun training for women.

In 2018, she began volunteering for Call For Help, an agency that provides a sexual assault hotline and services to support victims of sexual assault.

Teresa Pedigo was a friend of Reeves and sits on the agency’s board of directors.

“Whether she was doing counseling or countless advocacy classes, she always encouraged people to do whatever they needed to be safe,” Pedigo said.

LIST: Local defenders raise awareness of domestic violence support groups

There is growing pressure to increase awareness of the services available to anyone at risk of domestic violence.

Reeves also served on the board of directors of Good Samaritan House, a domestic violence shelter in Granite City. After 20 years of operation, the shelter closed, but Reeves helped reopen it and made sure the building was fully secure and that panic buttons were installed to protect the women staying there.

Friends are planning a way to honor all that Reeves has done to protect women from domestic violence. “I mean just a huge impact on the community, we will miss it so much,” said Pedigo.

Reeves leaves behind two children, a 6th grader and an 8th grader. A a fund has been created receive donations to help pay for their education.

Victims of domestic violence can call these 24-hour helplines: In St. Louis, 314-531-7273 and in the Metro-East, 618-235-0892.

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