Jessica Hartman | Contributing Writer
Published March 16, 2015; 1:40 p.m.
Social media users have recently seen “No More Week” popping up over and over. The hashtag “No More” and the associated color teal have taken over the social media world. “No More Week” is an international campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault.
Although this is an international campaign, the issue of domestic violence hits close to home, with more than 5,000 reports of domestic violence in the St. Louis and St. Charles counties last year.
Maggie Menefee is the Executive Director of Alive, or Alternative to Living in Violent Environments of the St. Louis center. She said she is very excited to see a world-wide campaign on the issue.
“Ending domestic violence and restoring safety and piece one family at a time is what our vision is,” Menefee said.
The Alive center offers temporary sanctuary and counseling for victims. Menefee said the most important thing someone in an abusive relationship can do to help themselves is to break the silence.
“Talk to someone. Talk to a friend. Talk to a family member. That’s the hardest part,” Menefee said.
One of the center’s main services is the Nights of Safety, which provides victims in immediate danger with a night’s stay in a hotel and the basic necessities they may need.
Nights of Safety Coordinator Alina Misemer said, “A lot of time, when someone is leaving an abuser right in the moment, that’s just not something they think of to grab: their toothpaste, their tooth brush. So we keep a pretty big stock of canned foods and stuff that’s kind of nonperishable that we can provide them while they are staying in the hotel.”
The center also provides counseling for children who have been witness to abusive situations, as well as parenting counseling, support groups, and a 24-hour hotline.
Alive intern Mandy Blankenship is one of the staff members who answers the hotline. She said her primary role is help people break the silence.
“Just give women a voice. Give them their voice back,” said Blankenship.
The location of the Alive office is undisclosed to protect victims seeking safety there. If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence you can contact Alive at 314-993-7080 or use the contact information listed at Alive.org.