Women’s shelters can’t handle increase

    The economic downturn may be behind a rise of violence against women. In Pennsylvania, shelters operators say they’ve seen a spike in calls and help from abusive partners.

    The economic downturn may be behind a rise of violence against women. In Pennsylvania, shelters operators say they’ve seen a spike in calls and help from abusive partners.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091012spabuse.mp3]

    In Philadelphia, Women Against Abuse says their current shelters may not be enough to handle the volume of women and children seeking help.

    Heather Keafer is a spokeswoman for the group. She says the organization has had to turn away more than 2500 women and children in the first – eight months – of the year.

    And that number is double the amount of people turned away during the same period last year.

    Keafer: Perhaps people places people could go to in the past for support those friends and family aren’t able because of their own economic situation to accommodate having another family member live with them so those people are forced to seek shelter.

    Nationwide, the trend is the same. A recent survey by the Mary Kay Ash Foundation found that 73% of domestic violence shelters nationwide say the spike in abuse is connected to the downturn in the economy.

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