October 1, 2009—Austin, TX—Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background, and one of the most chronically underreported crimes. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. For this reason, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and Capital Metro have partnered to raise public awareness about the issue by advertising The Hotline number on the sides of three buses.
“The Hotline is the first step to safety for many families in crisis. Since Texas generates the second highest number of calls to The Hotline and Austin is the state capital and our home base, teaming up with Capital Metro made sense,” said Katie Ray Jones, Director of The Hotline.
The signs feature The Hotline toll-free number, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), and the toll-free text telephone (TTY) number, 1-800-787-3224, with a statewide statistic: 74% of Texans are affected by domestic violence. One hundred Hotline signs in English and in Spanish are inside one-third of Capital Metro’s bus fleet. Together, the signage will reach approximately 33 percent of the transit authority’s ridership.
“Capital Metro cares about the safety and well-being of its passengers on and off the bus,” said Fred Gilliam, Capital Metro President/CEO. “We are pleased to work with the National Domestic Violence Hotline in raising awareness of domestic violence among the thousands of Central Texans that ride our transit system every day.”
Until the establishment of The Hotline, access to help was a major barrier for victims of domestic violence. Today, there are more than 5,000 local domestic violence programs in the United States providing a wide range of services including shelter, legal assistance, counseling, emergency transportation and more. “Knowing who to call is only one barrier; victims of domestic violence need to know what their options are for protecting their safety and the safety of their children. A single national toll-free number offers the most effective means of support for victims to learn about their options, gather information and receive referrals to resources in their local communities,” added Jones.
The Hotline provides anonymous and confidential life-saving support, crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through a toll-free confidential call center which operates in 170 languages through interpreter services.
Patty Gonzales, Communications Manager
(512) 685-6366 (Office)
(512) 809-3729 (Cell)