Local shelter receives spike in phone calls

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - As some people continue to stay at home, Laredo's Casa De Misericordia says the result has been an increase in calls from victims of domestic violence asking for help.

In recent months, the phone has been Casa De Misericordia's strongest ally.

Sister Rosemary Welsh, the executive director of the shelter, says at the beginning of the pandemic numbers slowed down but now more people have been calling the hot line.

"If you are not safe or secure in your own home, look for help."

Welsh believes more people are calling because domestic violence victims are now feeling the weight that comes with having to stay at home isolated with an abuser.

She wants to remind the community that despite a pandemic, Casa De Misericordia is here to help.

From January to May, Welsh says they have assisted over 100 adults and 100 kids.

"If they do not want to come to the shelter we have, we have an outreach site where they can see a counselor or case manager. Those numbers have gone up."

Silvia, a domestic violence survivor, says from her experience a pandemic is a victim's nightmare.

The short intervals within the day when an abuser leaves the home for work, or the victim can run to the store for a break, have now been taken away.

But now she's received help from Casa De Misericordia and wants to be an example for those trying to get out. That it can be done even during a global pandemic.

"I was that woman… submissive, humiliated, offended, beat, poorly treated mentally and physically… but you can get out."

Welsh says the shelter is full as of now, but they will never turn anyone away.

"Prevent something before it happens. Reach out for help."

If you need assistance from Casa De Misericordia, you can contact them at 712-9590.