24/7 text helpline launches to help domestic and sexual assault survivors

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 5:45 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - New resources are being offered to survivors of domestic and sexual assault.

Safe connections expanded its crisis helpline to offer texting services 24/7. Safe Connections already offered a 24/7 call line and some texting resources, but this new addition will expand services to those in need.

The organization works with survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Director of crisis intervention Brigid Welch wants people to know their voices are heard.

“There is help,” Welch said. “You don’t have to do this alone. We will believe you and support you.”

If someone is in a situation with an abuser, Welch said they may not be able to get on the phone to make a call.

That’s where the text line plays such an important role in helping offer them resources safely.

“Possibly that harmful partner is standing right next to them or in a shared home and picking up a phone call is going to be dangerous,” Welch said. “If they felt threatened, that person might be seeking counseling or shelter. For many clients that means they just wouldn’t call at all.”

Welch also works the helpline throughout the week.

By offering these text resources, Welch said it expands their reach and the populations they are able to serve.

“Non-English speakers, English language learners, folks who are deaf, where any type of texting is going to be more convenient than a call,” Welch said. “For a non-English speaker, they may be able to put in simple sentences. We can put in simple sentences back and maybe on their end they’re doing a translation software.”

The 24-hour text line is something chief executive officer Cynthia Danley said they’ve wanted to launch for years, but the pandemic made that hard to do.

People can text or call to get information on shelters and safety planning or get one-on-one or group counseling.

Danley said offering this help line all day every day is crucial for the people they serve.

“A lot of incidents occur overnight, and then someone may decide they want to get out of this situation, and it can be 3:00 in the morning, and they need to be able to call someone, even if it’s just to get out of that situation and get to a safe place,” Danley said.

Danley said there is no wait list to get into individual therapy offered at Safe Connections.

You can call or text the 24-hour crisis line at 314-531-2003.

You can remain anonymous and even use a blocked number.