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'Red-alert concerned' | Advocates worry about domestic violence survivors during stay-at-home orders

Safe Connections advocates said they're seeing a slight uptick in calls for help during the coronavirus outbreak

ST. LOUIS — With most of the St. Louis area under some type of stay-at-home order, domestic violence prevention workers are getting worried about survivors.

Safe Connections works to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence. Advocates said they’re seeing a slight uptick in calls for help during COVID-19, but they’re most worried about the people who can’t call.

“We are very, very, very concerned, I mean, red-alert concerned,” Safe Connections CEO Susan Kidder said.

She’s worried because under stay-at-home orders, domestic violence survivors have to stay at home with her abusers.

“They have no place to go, and they often don't have that room or place or private place where they can make calls,” Kidder said.

RELATED: COVID-19 isolation could create more danger for domestic abuse victims

The disabled, the elderly and children are most vulnerable, she added.

“The child's not gonna make the call. They probably don't know there's a hotline number,” she explained.

And with schools closed, teachers who might normally notice something wrong can't be a watchful eye. So, Kidder is asking all of us to be aware.

“If you hear something next door, if you see something, if something doesn't seem right,” she said, call Safe Connections. Advocates are answering calls remotely 24/7, and they can report the information to the state.

“This is really a call to action,” she said.

The phone number for the 24-hour helpline is 314-531-2003.

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