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ST. LOUIS – We hear everyone talking about being safe at home right now but one St. Louis women’s shelter wants everyone to understand not everyone is safe at home right now. Domestic violence-related calls are up 44 percent at the Women’s Safe House. The stress of unemployment, food insecurity and not knowing if they’re going to have a home at the end of the pandemic is causing a lot of stress.

Executive Director Sylvia Jackson says she’s seeing a higher need for prevention counseling. Women want to know where they can go and how to be safe. Jackson says a home isn’t safe for everybody. The shelter has a list of COVID-19 tips for men and women dealing with domestic violence. Keep a safe number like the Women’s Safe House in your phone under an anonymous name. Practice safety drills on how to notify a neighbor or friend if your spouse or significant other becomes violent. Practice a safety drill with your children. Don’t block yourself in a room with no escape route. If you can’t avoid the violence, ball yourself up, cover your face with your hands, cover your neck, and as soon as you can, get to the hospital.

Call 911.