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Woman credits Facebook for escaping spousal abuse

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis woman used Facebook to escape from a domestic violence situation and put her abuser behind bars.

30-year-old Steven Noel Reisch is charged with domestic assault in the 2nd and 3rd degree, kidnapping and property damage.

According to court documents, Reisch assaulted the mother if his child on multiple times throughout the day Monday, August 14th. The investigation revealed that the victim had numerous injuries including her lips that were bleeding from multiple locations, a torn earlobe and a broken nose. The woman indicated that she had been choked, struck by Reisch's fists and then kicked while on the ground.

The Probable Cause states, "Reisch refused to leave as he did not want law enforcement notified as he is currently on felony probation" and he destroyed the victim's phone so that she could not call for help.  She was able to use Facebook to send a message to someone to contact law enforcement, which is how St. Louis police were notified.

Safe Connections, a St. Louis non-profit offering hope and healing to victims of domestic and sexual violence says victims are turning to Facebook and other social media more often to alert authorities.

"Social media is a huge trend," said Cindy Punzalan, outreach coordinator for Safe Connections. "Victims and survivors utilize that as something that abusers may not be aware of. So there's tons of apps, private messages, it's a great way to get connected into the community."

There are various groups that offer support for victims and survivors in the community:

Provides counseling, emergency sanctuary, safety planning and other critical services

Barnes-Jewish Hospital AWARE Program (314-362-9273)
Provides advocacy services, information and resources

Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW) – (314-664-6699 or 1-800-527-1460)
Provides advocacy, immediate crisis support, legal advocacy & representation, assistance with protection orders and referrals

Life Sources Consultants, Inc. – (314-524-4130) (24 hour number: 314-524-0686)
Provides advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling, support and information

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence - (573-634-4161)
State coalition providing education, assistance, alliance and research in the field of domestic and sexual violence

Safe Connections – (24 hour number: 314-531-2003)
Provides advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling, education and referrals

St. Martha’s Hall – (314-533-1313)
Provides emergency shelter for abused women and their children

Women’s Safe House – (314-772-4535)
Provides emergency shelter for abused women and their children

YWCA Women's Resource Center
314-726-6665 (24 hour hotline: 314-531-7273)
Provides advocacy, counseling and education for survivors of sexual assault, including immediate crisis support by SART (Sexual Assault Response Team)

YWCA Woman's Place
314-533-1313
636-373-7911
Provides resources, advocacy and support for women impacted by domestic violence, and those who support them