This is a special message from Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of The Hotline
For almost 20 years, The Hotline has been dedicated to answering every phone call, chat and text from domestic violence victims and their loved ones. Because of our community of supporters, in 2015 we are closer to making sure no call for help goes unanswered. In fact, we’ve answered 92,355 more contacts in 2015 than 2014. So far this year, we’ve answered 300,655 calls for help, and we’re still counting.
That’s thousands of lives changed, thanks to support from our donors and partners.
These are truly amazing numbers, but this story from our advocate Angela has reminded me of the importance of helping one person, in that one moment in life:
I recently chatted with Samantha*, a young teenager, whose mother had just come into the room crying, because the girl’s father had hit her. Samantha was scared and confused.
Her mom had told her not to call the police or tell anyone what was going on. We talked about situations when she might consider calling the police, and we discussed why her mom might be concerned. We also went through safety planning for future situations where her father becomes violent.
Samantha didn’t understand why her dad hit her mom. So we talked about abuse, how it differs from healthy relationships, and why her mom might not want to leave. We talked about how none of what is happening is her, her siblings’, or her mom’s fault, and about how she can support her mom.
At the end of the conversation, she said, “Thank you so much for all of the help and information. I really appreciate you talking to me about all of this. Thank you so much, again.”
For many of us the holiday season is filled with joy and laughter with family and loved ones. Unfortunately, for victims and survivors of domestic violence, like Samantha, it’s often filled with terror.
Thank you for your generous support of our work. I wish you and your loved ones peace and safety in the new year!