ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Women's Shelter and Support Center is seeing fewer people coming forward, asking for help, and not for a good reason.
Jeannie Thompson with the shelter said because victims are feeling isolated and can't get out of their homes right now due to the stay at home order, they can't get the help they normally would. "When people aren't outside and they're not interacting and neighbors aren't seeing neighbors, there's less contact," said Thompson. "So domestic violence often happens behind closed doors."
The shelter is asking for Tracfone donations right now. The phones are partially needed to help kids have access to the internet while doing schoolwork from home. But another reason is because abusers are checking their partners cell phones, meaning they can't call for help without potentially making their situation worse. "So if we can provide them a phone that they can have and shut off the ringer or whatever - they've got a phone in a dresser, in a book bag, in something that isn't a normal spot," said Thompson. "They would be able to access help if they need it."
Thompson explained once places start opening back up, the Women's Shelter is expecting to see an increase of people requesting services, but she said they're well prepared to help out.
If you would like to donate a Tracfone, you can mail it to PO Box 457 Rochester, MN 55903. If you need help, you can always contact law enforcement who will direct you to the women's shelter or you can message the shelter directly on Facebook or call their 24/7 crisis line at (507) 285-1010.