Experts: local domestic violence cases up, shelters at capacity

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 6:55 AM

(KMOV.com) — Experts are reporting a spike in domestic violence cases in the St. Louis area. And for the victims, it’s tough right now to find a place to go to escape.

The experts News 4 talked to Monday said shelters are often at their busiest in the dead of winter.

A long, gray, bitterly cold winter may be pushing some people to the edge.

“The weather and everything it brings with it causes that person to be out of control,” said Pat Kulik with Bridgeway Behavorial Health. “All the things that come together are our inability to get out of our house, struggling with higher utility bills, all of this can cause more stressors on a family and cause that person to be out of control.”

Kulik has worked with domestic violence victims for more than 20 years.

She says she’s also seeing an increase in the brutality that the victims endure.

Others who work with domestic violence victims say it’s tough to point to a particular reason why the numbers are up.

While there are resources available for the victims there just aren’t enough.

“Just like anything else- homeless shelters, any other type of social services agencies there’s not as much as needed,” said Zoila Rendon-Ochoa with Barnes-Jewish Hospital. 

She says the latest numbers show for every one victim who got into a shelter, two were turned away.

A typical stay in a shelter is at least a month. 

If you or someone you know needs help to get out of an abusive relationship here are some links. 

Lydia’s House

AWARE Program through BJC

ALIVE - Alternatives to Living In Violent Environments

Kathy J. Weinman Shelter

 

RAVEN -- Rape and Violence End Now

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