Domestic Abuse Texting Hotline Now Open in St. Louis

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Finding safety doesn't require a phone call. - @JHAYMESISVIP / FLICKR

Safe Connections has been providing help for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the St. Louis area for more that 40 years, and now they’re offering a brand new option for survivors to get information and seek assistance.

The Safe Connections Crisis Textline (314-531-2003) is up and running, giving people another way to contact or stay in touch with the organization.



This is a genius step for Safe Connections for many reasons. First of all, it provides a silent way to ask for help when a phone call might be out of the question. And in addition to providing a more covert way for people to seek assistance, a text might be the only way for someone to reach out if they’re stuck in lockdown with an abuser.

From St. Louis Public Radio:



“When the pandemic first hit, calls to Safe Connections’ crisis hotline decreased 23% — but not because domestic abuse stopped, said Jaszmine Parks, who manages the hotline. The drop was most likely because people were ordered to stay home and had less time apart from their abusers, Parks said.”

A texting line also keeps up with how young people communicate. Not only is texting a more comfortable way for some younger people to interact, it also works to provide access to life-saving services for people who are deaf, too.

Domestic violence has been in the local news so much lately that Wesley Bell, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, felt the need to issue a statement on the subject after Roseann McCulley and her two children — thirteen-year-old Kayden Johnson and six-year-old Kaylee Brooks — were shot to death in their own home by her estranged husband, Bobby McCulley III, last week.

“The McCulleys’ tragedy did not begin with a triple murder. It began with domestic assault,” Bell wrote.

If you’re in a bad situation and you’re looking for a way out (or you know someone in a bad situation and want to find out how to try to help them), Safe Connections is a great place to start. The organization began as a grassroots domestic violence crisis hotline in 1976 and is the “longest-standing domestic/sexual violence dual-focused nonprofit in St. Louis.”

For more information about the organization and its services, visit SafeConnections.org. The hotline is open for phone calls 24 hours a day and the staff replies to texts between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. To call or text the organization, the number is the same: 314-531-2003.

Email the author at jaime.lees@riverfronttimes.com
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