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How you can help St. Louis survivors of domestic and sexual violence during a pandemic

Safe Connections keeps going, but to continue helping survivors, they need your help with its emergency fund

ST. LOUIS — For over 40 years, Safe Connections has supported survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

It strives to help through intervention and support.

"Safe Connections work is to prevent and to end sexual and domestic violence. We serve everyone. There's no fee for any costs that we serve," Chief Executive Officer, Susan Kidders, said. 

When it was founded in 1976, it was called the Women’s Safe Help Center. 

In 2017, the named was changed to Safe Connections, in order to show they are helping all genders and sexual orientations.

Its empowerment efforts are through therapy, prevention education, and its 24-hour hotline. 

The organization reaching and helping about 20,000 people a year.

Credit: Safe Connections

After serving the community for over 40 years, Safe Connections faced a new battle in 2020: COVID-19.

Isolation being a tool to stop the spread of the virus.

But it can also be harmful for those locked up behind closed doors with an abuser. 

This has led to a rise in domestic violence cases.

"Just because things are opening back up, there is so much remote happening now... abusers are at home," Kidder said.

Safe Connections keeps going, but to continue helping survivors, they need your help with its emergency fund.

"The most dangerous time for a survivor is when they decide to leave that situation," Chief Development and Marketing Officer, Cynthia Danley, added. 

This money going to a key moment for a path of survival.

"Whether that's emergency transportation to get them out of that situation or gift cards like for groceries or gasoline or household items. Those dollars that come into Safe Connections goes right to helping and saving lives," Danley said.

Kidder says its about to launch a brand new text feature on the crisis line. A survivor can text the line and resources are provided.

If you or anyone you know needs assistance, you can call the 24-hour crisis helpline at 314-531-2003.

If you'd like to donate, you can go to its website here.

Another way to get involved, you can volunteer or sign up for a committee.