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'You Are Not Alone': Domestic Violence Interventionists Highlight Resources After Women Murdered In St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- It's been a deadly weekend in St. Paul. Police are investigating two separate homicides that left two women dead. Both are believed to have stemmed from domestic violence.

The first happened just after midnight Saturday at a home on Lyton Place in the North End neighborhood. Police said they were called to the area after someone reported hearing an argument and a gunshot. When they arrived, they said they found a woman in her early 30s shot on the sidewalk.

"Unfortunately once medics got there, which was very quickly, there was nothing they could do for the woman and she was pronounced dead without being transport," said Public Information Officer Steve Linders.

Police arrested one of two men at the home.

The second homicide happened around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning in the same neighborhood, on Dale Street North. Police say they found a 67-year-old woman badly beaten at a home. She also died before making it to the hospital. Her husband was arrested.

"When things like this happened, when there's a domestic violence-related homicide, people ask themselves 'How could we have known?'" said Brenisen Wheeler, the community education and outreach manager for Women's Advocates.

Wheeler said isolation and stress during the pandemic has heightened abuser's behaviors and made it more difficult for survivors to come forward to ask for help.

St. Paul Domestic Violence Homicides
(credit: CBS)

"Potential abusive people who used to go physically to work are now at home 24/7, so I think that that makes it more difficult to pick up the phone and call a crisis line because someone is always listening," Wheeler said.

Women's Advocates started an online chat service in addition to its hotline. They provide prevention education, and help women make a plan to leave their abuser, offering safe shelter and guidance.

"You have support and you are not alone in this situation, and that's something that others who may suspect that someone that they know or care about is experiencing abuse is to continue to make efforts to connect with them and reach out to them and let them know they aren't alone," Wheeler said.

Abuse can happen to anyone and is not always physical. That's why Wheeler said it's important to look out for one another.

"Connection is the antidote to isolation," she said.

Local Domestic Violence Resources

Women's Advocates

Crisis Line: (651) 227-8284

Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Crisis Line: (651) 645-2824

Minnesota Day One

Crisis Line: 1-866-223-1111

Esperanza United

Bilingual crisis line: (651) 772-1611.

For anonymous, confidential help, people can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.

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