NewsHelena News


For victims and survivors of domestic abuse, The Friendship Center is staying open

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 20:43:51-04

While school is closed, and many businesses are required to close their doors for now, some non-profits say they have to keep working.

While their offices are closed to the public, the Friendship Center in Helena will continue to offer their 24/7 crisis line for people experiencing domestic violence.

Executive director Jenny Eck said for their current residents, they’re cleaning the center each day and making sure people have adequate supplies, information and support.

Eck also said as families isolate in their homes during the outbreak, that environment can pose a danger for victims and survivors of domestic abuse who are already vulnerable.

She wants people to know they're still here to help.

“When people are living in close quarters, when they're under a lot of stress, when kids are home, it can be a perfect mix for an increase in violence,” she said. “We're worried about that, and that's why we're here. We have to be here.”

“It can be harder for people to feel like they can get help if they feel like they can't even leave the house,” Eck explained. "If you are in a situation where you don't feel safe, you can call us, and we can help you. Just because this is going on doesn't mean you have to put up with abuse.”

The crisis hotline is 24/7. Call 406-442-6800 to speak to an advocate if you are experiencing domestic abuse, stalking or sexual assault.

In terms of donations, Eck said they’re asking for donations of food gift cards, to places like Costco or Amazon, as well as phone cards.

They also need more cleaning supplies.

Here is a full list of approved donations for the Friendship Center.