National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) data released today suggests a link between financial stress and domestic violence. For victims who called the national Hotline during the six week study, 54 percent reported a change in their household’s financial situation in the past year.
NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates said the study was developed in response to both an increase in anecdotal information from callers about how the economic downturn has affected their family, and questions from news media all over the country who asked whether the increase in the demand for Hotline, residential and non-residential services was related to the economy.
“Hotline calls in the third quarter of 2008 were up significantly over 2007, with September up 21 percent,” Cates said. “From what we were hearing on the calls, we believed that there was a link, but needed data to be sure.”
From November 12 until December 31, 2008, 32,316 Hotline calls were received, with 7,868 callers participating in the study. Of those, 54 percent (3,272) answered yes to the question “Has there been a change in your household’s financial situation in the past year?”
Sixty-four percent also answered the second question affirmatively, which was “Do you believe the abusive behavior has increased in the past year?”
“This increase in call volume comes at a time when private donations to the Hotline have decreased significantly,” said Cates. “About 35 percent of our budget is private funds from corporations, foundations and individuals. Given our current capacity and the current call volume, we project as many as 44,000 Hotline calls could go unanswered if we do not reach our funding goals.”