Safe House for domestic violence victims changes name

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A Heartland safe house for domestic violence victims is making a change to their name.

The Safe House in Cape Giradeau will now be called the Safe House for Southeast Missouri.

According to a safehouse leader, it’s to represent all their residents, no matter their gender.

“Whether it be a woman, a man, a transgender individual, we want them to know that we are here to help them,” Jessica Hill, director for Safe House for Southeast Missouri said.

Hill said they are adjusting with their growing group of residents, by changing their name to Safe House of Southeast Missouri.

“We’re serving about 250 people with residential services every year, and a growing number of those are men,” Hill said.

She said they’ve housed and served both women and men since 2019. Years later they are still trying to get the word out that people of all genders can find support and shelter at the Safe House.

“We have people who call us and say I’m a victim of domestic violence. My wife, my girlfriend, my partner is abusive towards me. I know you don’t serve men but can you tell someone who does,” Hill said

The goal is not only to help more diverse victims, but encourage them to share their stories.

“We do see not only a growing number of men who are being abused but also their willingness to come forward and say this is what happened to me,” Hill said

Cape Girardeau Police are also responding to more calls from men who are victims of domestic abuse.

“It happens a lot more than you would think,” Wes Blair, Cape Girardeau Police Chief said.

Blair wants to educate people of all genders on the importance of reporting violence at the hand of their partner.

“Men I think sometimes are more ashamed to make a report and the thing we want to get out there is that its ok. So, we want to be able to reach those men that are also being victimized,” Blair said.

Hill explained as the Safe House adapts to their current and future residents, their answer to a call for help will always remain the same.

“The answer is always yes,” Hill said.

The name will legally change to Safe House of Southeast Missouri on September 1st.

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