The Women’s Center open to help domestic violence victims
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - For most of us, stay-at-home orders are just an inconvenience, but for victims of domestic violence, not being able to leave the house is dangerous.
Domestic violence program coordinator Andrea Stephens said right now The Women’s Center of Southern Illinois only has about half of its typical number of people staying in the shelter, and that’s not a good thing because, unfortunately, it doesn’t mean domestic violence is happening less.
Stephens said with the stay-at-home order in place, victims are often trapped with their abuser with no way of getting out or seeking help.
“Typically, one of you leaves the home for something, either to go to work, or take the kids to school, or to daycare, or go to the store to buy groceries, or just run some type of errand. But right now, with everything being closed, there are none of those options, and to be stuck in a small home environment with someone who already is abusive and harmful to you - and now to never get a break from that increases the types of violence, the occasions that the violence occurs, and the lethality of what could happen," she said.
Stephens said even though they are stuck at home, survivors are not alone.
The emergency shelter is considered an essential service and open now, so help from The Women’s Center is just a phone call away.
Stephens encouraged anyone suffering domestic violence to find a moment away from their abuser to call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-334-2094. Staff will help you make an escape plan to safely get you and your children out of danger.
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