National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

A Special Thank You for VAWA

Today President Obama signed the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the very piece of legislation that allowed us to take our very first call. We are so grateful to the national leaders and decision makers, advocates and all involved in the re-authorization.

Here is a video of our advocates saying a special thank you:

About VAWA:

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation that seeks to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States.

The passage of VAWA in 1994 has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services, and a new generation of families and justice system professionals has come to understand that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that our society will not tolerate.

Here’s a link to our official press release.


Brand New Partnership With Ulla Popken, Plus-Sized Clothing Designer

The Hotline is excited to announce our partnership with Ulla Popken, an online retailer with clothes exclusively designed for the plus-size woman.  This small but growing company has a big heart and has partnered with us to bring awareness about domestic violence to their customers. The Ulla Popken website has information on domestic violence and the services offered by The Hotline. They also include a personal story of one of our Hotline advocates and her own experience with domestic violence.

Ulla Popken is not only bringing awareness to this issue, they are also helping The Hotline by donating a portion of the sales from two new empowering message bracelets. The bracelets can be found on their site and $3 from each bracelet will go to The Hotline to allow us to continue to answer calls for help from victims of domestic violence.

As Ulla Popken’s President Phyliss Mosca says, “Feeling beautiful is certainly empowering but giving back and helping others is the absolute best feeling in the world.”

Thank you to Ulla Popken for showing leadership in speaking out against domestic violence and helping those affected by it find help to lead a life safe from violence.


Special Thanks to the Avon Foundation

The Hotline is excited to announce its recent $200,000 gift from the Avon Foundation for Women in support of The Hotline’s efforts to answer calls from domestic violence victims, friends and family members. In 2012, over 53,000 calls for help to The Hotline went unanswered due to a lack of resources. The Avon Foundation’s generous contribution will support two part-time advocates as well as additional relief advocates to support The Hotline’s efforts in responding to calls for help from thousands of women, men, children and families seeking help annually.

Over the last 16 years, The National Domestic Violence Hotline has been proud to call the Avon Foundation for Women a true partner in making a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence. With continued support from the Avon Foundation, together we can work to end this epidemic. Thank you to everyone at the Avon Foundation for Women for your continued contributions to helping domestic violence victims.


Sportcaster James Brown and Law & Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay On Bringing Men Into the Conversation

On January 31st, we participated in another important Twitter Chat with our friends from the Verizon Foundation, as a part of the Foundation’s Your Voice Counts campaign.

This Twitter Chat focused on the role that men play in preventing and ending domestic violence. With the Super Bowl then-only days away and recent tragedies in the NFL community still fresh in the minds of many, this was an incredibly timely conversation.

The topic was so popular that the event’s hashtag #YourVoiceCounts even trended nationally on Twitter. Verizon Foundation’s President Rose Stuckey Kirk, CBS Sportscaster James Brown, actress Mariska Hargitay and her organization Joyful Heart Foundation, A CALL TO MEN, and NO MORE all contributed to the success of the chat.

If you were involved in the Twit Chat, we’d love to hear your feedback. If not, we hope you join us next time.

1/31 Tweet up with Verizon Foundation @verizongiving, Sportscaster James Brown @JBsportscaster, NO MORE @NOMOREorg, LiveRespect @LiveRESPECT, Joyful Heart Foundation @TheJHF, and actress Mariska Hargitay @Mariska


Our Three Millionth Call Will Come One Year Earlier Than Expected

Today The Hotline is announcing that we expect to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected — answering three million calls since The Hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role The Hotline plays in assisting victims of domestic violence.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing The Hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, president of The Hotline. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the The Hotline, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to The Hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like The Hotline for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The Hotline provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the The Hotline.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to The Hotline.

Callers to The Hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration,” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of The Hotline. “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion will heighten the dialogue and awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Limited Brands & The Giving Tree Program

We at The Hotline want to recognize the special holiday campaign led by Limited Brands called The Giving Tree. For over 10 years, Limited Brands, which includes Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, have made the holiday bright for women and children living in domestic violence shelters.

The Giving Tree program provides Limited Brands associates with an opportunity to provide much-needed gifts to children and families at area domestic violence shelters in their local communities. In partnership with The Hotline, Limited Brands connected stores with shelters and programs in their area. Store associates then donated items to either adopt a family or generic viagra online persons in need through local shelters. Since the Giving Tree project began, hundreds of thousands of women and children have been helped as a result of these donations.

Domestic violence programs are especially grateful for the support during the holiday season. One program stated “The clients truly love these gifts. Our ladies have so little and feel so good when they receive these gifts.”

We want to thank Limited Brands for the kindness shown by the home office and all of their associates. The holidays can be a challenging time for those experiencing abuse, but through this special program, many were reminded of the spirit of the season because of this thoughtful generosity.

The Hotline is proud of our 14 year partnership with Limited Brands and thankful for this company’s outstanding commitment to helping end domestic violence.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Thank You, From The Hotline

Happy Thanksgiving! We at The Hotline want to take this moment to give thanks.

We are thankful for each of the more than 200,000 people who found the courage to call us and get help, support or information. We speak with victims, survivors, friends and family members and many other people who have been affected by domestic violence. A big thank you to the loved ones who sought help for someone they know, and to victims and survivors for trusting us to help them in their most personal moments. We consider it a privilege.

We are thankful for our corporate partners who are committed to making a difference. A very heartfelt thanks to our friends at Verizon, AVON Foundation for Women, TJX, Harold Simmons Foundation and Limited Brands Foundation. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do.

We are thankful for every single one of our supporters. Each person who donates to The Hotline, encourages someone to call 1-800-799-SAFE or who shares information about domestic violence is helping us to make a difference. Big or small, our donors and supporters empower us and we are so grateful for their encouragement.

We are very thankful for our brave advocates who answer calls. These hardworking, dedicated people are passionate about helping anyone who calls. They work tirelessly, 24/7/365. They are here on weekends, holidays and late at night. They listen to and support callers and provide them with vital information. Our advocates are the heart of our organization.

Finally, we are thankful for you. Whatever your reason for visiting this site, we are grateful that you are here. By learning about healthy relationships, you have the opportunity to make a difference in your life or in someone else’s.

Our advocates are available to talk every day, even Thanksgiving, so please do not hesitate to call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224 if you are in need of support.

Have a wonderful holiday!

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Named a 2012 Top Workplace

The Austin American Statesman named The Hotline a top workplace for 2012. This is the third consecutive year that The Hotline has been given this honor. The article cites employees’ sense of pride for helping others, the strong support system among advocates and caring leadership as reasons why The Hotline is a positive work environment.

One employee described their job satisfaction by saying, “I talk to many strong survivors and have the chance to help them reach their goals of a safe, peaceful life. They have a difficult journey and I can encourage them and reinforce their strengths.”

The write-up also included a description of the unique service The Hotline provides for families facing crisis. To read the article, please click here.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and Calls for Bi-partisan Support for the Reauthorization of VAWA

Today celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) and asks Congress to support reauthorization of the landmark legislation.

The Hotline was created by the legislation and has helped millions of women, men and families since its creation. The Hotline receives more than 22,000 calls a month from victims of domestic violence and their families and friends.

“The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day and it is a life-line for women, men, children and families in danger and offers victims help and hope,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “We are honored to have helped more than 2 million callers since The Hotline was created by the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA).”

United States House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith recently declared, “It is essential that programs like these are in place to protect victims not just from physical bruises but from the emotional and mental scars as well. Funding through VAWA has helped women escape abuse and rebuild their lives.”

Vice President Joe Biden today also praised the passage of the Violence Against Women Act saying it gives law enforcement and courts more tools to combat domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. “We created a national hotline to direct victims to life-saving assistance and since VAWA passed, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent,” said Biden.

VAWA represents our federal government’s coordinated community response to sexual assault and family violence services. Rape crisis centers, family violence centers, law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts all form a part of this response.


Teacher Donates Cell Phone Penalty to The Hotline

At The Hotline, we are moved by the men and women who support our work in protecting victims of domestic violence. A few weeks ago, we received a special letter containing a donation. It was from a college professor and it came with a generous financial contribution. The professor wished to remain anonymous. The letter read,

“With growing frustration over cell phones ringing in my classroom, I decided to turn the distraction into something more positive. I told my students at the beginning of the semester that each time their cell phone rang in class, they would be asked to donate $5 to your program. I then passed a collection jar at the end of the semester, and this gift was the end result. I hope you can put it good use.”

We circulated the letter through our office and smiled as we read it. It’s such a simple but creative way to make a difference. This model of giving can be replicated by all of us, in finding ways to connect our daily lives to the issues we care deeply about.

Thank you, Professor, for teaching a valuable lesson on charity to your students and us.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Citi Employees’ Recycled Phones Help Domestic Violence Victims

We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from Citi and Verizon Wireless. We wanted to share this article written by Irene Blake, Coordinator of Citi’s US “Wireless Drop-Off” to share their impressive support of The Hotline. The picture shows The Hotline Advocates giving thanks.

Citi holds a drive each year to gather and donate wireless devices our employees no longer need. The drive is an important component of our Sustainable Technology program, and combines Citi’s commitment to responsible asset management through recycling with our passion for active involvement in the communities where we work and live.

In 2011, our US employees collected more than 2,500 no-longer-used wireless devices. We wanted not only to keep them out of landfills, but also to give them new life while helping those in need. We worked with HopeLine® from Verizon  to have our “data-scrubbed” devices recycled and disposed of under a zero-landfill policy.

Even more importantly, Citi and Verizon Wireless are turning these donations into support for domestic violence victims. Our donated devices are being put to work in the community through a $10,000 grant awarded to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH). This grant will aid NDVH in its mission to provide support to domestic violence victims through advocacy, safety planning, resources and most importantly hope.

Now in its sixth year, Citi’s “Wireless Drop-Off” is one of the ways we are working to promote environmental and social sustainability. To date, we have recycled more than 15,000 mobile devices through this program and donated $76,000 to non-profit agencies that work to combat domestic violence.

For more information on HopeLine from Verizon, visit Learn more about Citi’s environmental and social responsibility efforts here.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Turns 16

Today we celebrate our 16 year anniversary. We are thankful that we have been able to help victims of domestic violence for the past decade and a half.

The Hotline was founded in 1996 as part of the Violence Against Women Act passed by Congress. The Hotline is the only national domestic violence hotline that has access to more than 4,500 shelters and domestic violence programs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Each month, The Hotline’s advocates receive approximately 23,500 calls. We operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in more than 170 languages through interpreter services, with a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing. We are toll-free, confidential and anonymous.

The Hotline currently has about 85 staff members, both paid and volunteer. Of those employees, 12 have been at The Hotline for over 10 years, including one of our volunteers.

We have been featured in many magazines and television shows (reaching a variety of different demographics), including (but not limited to): Oprah, Dr. Phil, Maury Povich, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Nancy Grace, Larry King, Judge Pirro, Tyra Banks, Montel, Good Morning America, Despierta America, 20/20, MTV’s 16 & Pregnant, Redbook, Glamour, Essence, Ebony and Teen Vogue.

We are proud of the past 16 years and feel grateful for the chance to make a difference in the lives of men and women living with domestic violence. We would like to thank all of our supporters and volunteers for helping us — we couldn’t do it without you. We look forward to our future work, and hope that you will join with us in promoting healthy relationships and spreading the word that violence is unacceptable.