SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Women who find themselves as victims of domestic violence need to make that phone call for help. That's the plea from Sandra Morrison, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Women's Center for Nonviolence.
Morrison says there's no real reason for the sudden spike in domestic violence, which has now claimed four lives in three separate incidents along the Coast over the past week.
"Power and control are often used by the abusers against their victims," said Morrison.
She says the Harrison County shelter for women and children is currently near capacity. Stacey Myers is a licensed social worker who helps counsel women who are victims of domestic violence.
"You can begin to see the hope in their eyes," Myers said, talking about victims who reach out for help and take shelter from their abuser.
Myers says many of the clients come into the program fearful for their lives, since that time of breaking away from an abusive partner is often the most dangerous.
She says after they spend some time in the program, "They come out of their shell and begin to open up and eventually take control of their own lives again."
Last year, the center provided shelter or counseling services to 2,813 victims of domestic abuse. The crisis line handled 13,524 calls.
Steve Phillips will have more on this in-depth story tonight on WLOX News and WLOX.com.