Domestic abuse on the rise, El Dorado Springs shelter fights troubling trend

Domestic violence is a growing issue in the Ozarks.

Data shows that domestic abuse cases in Springfield and throughout Greene County were at a five-year high in 2016.

As the number of abuse cases continues to rise across the Ozarks, one Cedar County shelter is struggling to fight the troubling trend.

"When the women first come into the home, we want them to feel safe, warm, and loved," W.I.N.G.S Refuge Administrator Edina McGinnis said.

Wings of Refuge gives abused women and children the gift of safety.

"We have the means to accommodate up to 16 or 18 women," McGinnis said.

She says it costs about $5,000 per month to run the shelter, but this isn't the only shelter fighting to meet a growing need. McGinnis says in 2016, about 20,000 women were turned away from Missouri shelters.

With the growing cost to meet that growing need, the shelter in El Dorado Springs is calling for help as they gear up for a fundraiser Thursday night.

"It takes the whole community to actually make it work," Jo Collins said.

Ministry partners say donors and volunteers help the faith-based shelter give women a second chance.

"Most of them, if not all, have never been around real love or they've just not known that there are people that really love them and care," Grace Fellowship Church Pastor Kenny Batson said.

McGinnis agrees that the shelter is life-changing, because she's lived through the same struggle.

"It feels like a different life time," McGinnis said.

She's gone from a resident of the shelter to running it, after fleeing from abuse six years ago.

"He pushed me out a downstairs window and broke my arm," McGinnis said.

She says the safety and faith in God she found at W.I.N.G.S Refuge, changed her life for the better.

"It's the best feeling in the world. The lord has really brought me full circle," McGinnis said.

The shelter's auction and fundraiser is Thursday night at 5:30 on Main Street.

You can buy tickets and find out more about the ministry by going to their website: wingsrefuge.com