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happy-new-year

Happy New Year From The Hotline!

It’s been an amazing year of milestones for the hotline, and we couldn’t have done it without the kindness and generosity from all of you. We are so grateful to our supporters who helped us create healthier families and communities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hotline saw growth and change in 2013:

  • This summer we answered our 3 millionth call, a somber milestone that allowed us to reflect on the people we’ve been able to help and the work that still needs to be done.

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  • In October we revamped our website… and launched online chat services! Victims, friends and family now have a new way to interact with an advocate and get help safely, quickly and anonymously from any device with internet access.

  • In October we asked, “How do you see DV?” and the responses were more than could’ve imagined. We featured blog posts by everyone from Denver Broncos’ Chris Harris, Jr., to Jasmine Villegas.

  • Our loveisrespect advocates have seen a record number of young people reaching out for help via text (“loveis” to 22522) and chat.

  • Vice President Joe Biden stopped by our Austin, TX headquarters during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Check out this great recap of his visit.

  • We launched the 24/7/365 Society. A pledge of $1,000 a year for three years secures a place as a founding member of the society, recognizing your constant support of victims of domestic violence.

  • We participated in Giving Tuesday for the first time ever. On December 3rd our advocates and staff joined together to build a Gingerbread Hotline. With each donation we added a fun item to the hotline, representing how each gift builds and strengthens our ability to help more survivors, families and friends.

  • In December, the Avon Foundation for Women offered to match any gifts we received, up to $200,000. This was a great opportunity, because each gift did twice the good.

It’s been a great year of change, and we’re looking forward to what the coming year will bring. From all of us here at the hotline, we’re so appreciative to have a strong community of supporters and friends working to build a world of healthier relationships. Thank you for helping us serve 24/7/365.

Remember that we’re always just a phone call or chat away. 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy new year.

 

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Verizon Donates $250,000 to Launch Online Chat Service

VerizoncheckpresentingAnyone looking for information or help will now be able to chat live online with hotline advocates thanks to a $250,000 donation from Verizon, through its HopeLine program. Verizon has also given the hotline an opportunity to receive an additional $250,000 in matching funds through a national wireless phone drive.

HopeLine from Verizon collects no-longer-used cell phones and accessories in any condition from any service provider and turns them into support for domestic violence prevention organizations and local shelters in the form of cash grants, and wireless phones with text and voice service.

“Verizon leverages its technology and resources to help solve critical social issues,” said Torod Neptune, chief communications officer for Verizon Wireless.  “Partnering with the hotline to launch this online service will now provide victims with yet another way to get the help they need when they need it in the way they want it.”

Verizon has been a longtime supporter of the hotline. We are grateful for their generous gift that will extend our reach to help more victims in more ways.

To celebrate the launch of chat service and the very special visit of Vice President Joe Biden, many important Verizon team members joined us in Austin last week, including Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Alan Gardner; Executive Director of Public Affairs, Elva Lima; Vice President of External Affairs, David Russell and Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Richard Lawson. Below is a compilation of their time with us.

Consider hosting a phone drive in your community to raise phones to support the HopeLine project. Learn how.

 

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Vice President Biden Tours The Hotline

On October 30, 2013 we were honored with a special visit by Vice President Joe Biden. A vocal advocate for women and men experiencing domestic violence, Vice President Biden helped found the hotline with the Violence Against Women Act. Vice President Biden met with advocates, listened to stories heard on the phone lines and recognized the milestone of the hotline answering its 3 millionth call.

After touring the hotline and loveisrespect, the Vice President spoke at a press conference about the importance of supporting domestic violence services. We are so honored that he he spent time connecting with our advocates and highlighting the work done at the hotline.

digital safety

Getting Digital to End Abuse

In light of the recent tragedies that occurred in Steubenville, Ohio, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, it’s easy to feel like tech and social media is causing more problems than inspiring good.

While there have been examples of the two being used to harm, we’re also seeing social media and technology being used to prevent and spread awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. Today, we’re taking a look at empowering apps, websites and projects that are changing the way we see abuse.


Apps Against Abuse

In 2011, Vice President Joe Biden launched the Apps Against Abuse challenge, calling on innovators to make mobile apps to prevent dating violence and abuse. Among the winning apps was Circle of 6, which uses texting to contact friends and employs GPS to tell them where you are. A new version has even been developed specifically for India, taking into account cultural differences, language and in-country resources.

Hollaback!

Catcallers are called out publically with Hollaback!, which lets anyone who has experienced street harassment share their stories, images and videos on an interactive map that documents where the incident took place. With both web and mobile apps, this nonprofit is taking the streets by storm in 64 cities and 22 countries. They hope to soon have the capability to allow users to report directly to the NYC government.

Project Unbreakable

Featured on an episode of “Law & Order SVU” in which a campus quad of hundreds of students held up posters with quotes from their attackers, Project Unbreakable is an image-based project that has spread all over the country thanks to the power of the web. It began on Tumblr and has been named one of the Top 30 Tumblr blogs by TIME Magazine. The woman behind the project, Grace Brown, photographs survivors of sexual assault holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. She has taken images of over 400 people for this “art of healing” viral project.

#ididnotreport

While a hashtag can be co-opted to victim blame and spread hateful messages (such as Torrington, CT’s #FreeEdgar), it can also be a powerful social media tool to begin dialogues on a global scale. In 2012 a blogger from London Feminist sparked a Twitter movement with the hashtag #Ididnotreport. She expected it to be limited to users tweeting about what she described as “low level harassment” but people everywhere began using it, especially in relation to serious sexual assaults. The hashtag opened up discussion and built an instant community of people with similar experiences, while highlighting the vast problem of underreporting and the many reasons people don’t report.

loveisrespect online chat and texting service

The loveisrespect online chat and texting service allows teens to talk about their relationship directly to a peer advocate whenever and wherever they want. This lets young people communicate in what can sometimes be a more comfortable and safer manner than in person or on the phone. The loveisrespect text service was the first in the country of its kind, and the service was actually launched by a text message from Vice President Joe Biden himself. Visit loveisrespect.org to use the online chat, or text “loveis” to 22522 to message an advocate today.


Have you heard of any other organizations that are using social media and technology in the fight against domestic violence and sexual abuse? Sound off in the comments — we’d love to learn about them.

history of the hotline

A Look at the History of The National Domestic Violence Hotline

With all the celebration around the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, we have the chance to look back on the history of The Hotline, which was able to take its first call because of this very legislation. Here are some of our most important dates throughout the past 20 years:

  • September 13, 1994: President Clinton signs VAWA, which authorizes the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • August 17, 1995: The Texas Council on Family Violence receives a $1 million grant that establishes The Hotline.
  • February 21, 1996: The Hotline takes its first call.
  • October 28, 2000: President Clinton signs the reauthorization of VAWA, supporting The Hotline.
  • August 2, 2003: The Hotline takes its one-millionth call. The caller is a battered woman looking for shelter. After speaking to a local crisis line and learning that shelters are full, she remembers the number of The Hotline, calls, and an advocate helps her find a place to stay.
  • October 2005: The Hotline concludes its Connections Campaign and raises $2.7 million to build the technological capacity of The Hotline to respond to more calls and provide better service.
  • September 26, 2006: Verizon Wireless offers direct connection to The Hotline through the #HOPE Initiative — dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone instantly connects callers to The Hotline.
  • February 27, 2006: Senator Biden leads a press conference at The Hotline to mark its 10th anniversary. He meets with advocates to talk about the technological improvements designed to help advocates respond to callers more quickly.
  • February 2006: The Hotline reaches the milestone of answering over 1.5 million calls.
  • February 8, 2007: The Hotline and Liz Claiborne Inc. announce the launch of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH). Today, this is referred to as the National Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH).
  • October 21, 2008: The Hotline takes its 2 millionth call.
  • April 28, 2009: Vice President Joe Biden makes a visit to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect for a press event and tour of the facilities. This is his second visit to the organizations in six years.
  • October 13, 2009: The partnership between Marshalls and The Hotline for the Shop ‘til It Stops campaign officially launches with two fundraising and awareness events in Los Angeles and New York.
  • November 22, 2010: The Hotline ranks in the ‘Top 10 Best Places to Work’ in a report conducted by the Austin American Statesman and Workplace Dynamics. The Hotline is the only social services nonprofit ranked in the top 10 winners.
  • January 27, 2011: The leader of the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, joins The Hotline to help bring awareness to domestic violence and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary. He joins Dallas Cowboys superstar Jason Witten, baseball great Joe Torre and others to kick off the yearlong campaign.
  • February 8, 2011: The National Dating Abuse Helpline joins forces with Break the Cycle to expand upon loveisrespect.org. This partnership creates the ultimate comprehensive online resource to engage and empower teens through dating abuse awareness.
  • September 26, 2011: loveisrespect announces the nation’s first dating abuse texting service. Vice President Joe Biden premieres the service by sending the first text to National Dating Abuse Helpline peer advocate Whitney Laas.
  • February 21, 2012: The Hotline celebrates its 16th anniversary. At this point, 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.
  • January 29, 2013: At a special congressional briefing, The Hotline announces they are expecting to reach a milestone nearly one year earlier than predicted — answering 3 million calls since its inception in 1996. While this is not a cause for celebration, it highlights the vital role that The Hotline continues to play in assisting victims of domestic violence.
  • March 7, 2013: President Obama reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, with provisions that extend the protection of Native American women and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • March 8, 2013: The Hotline is the only center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S. Today, The Hotline continues to grow and explore new avenues of service.
National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Dating Abuse Resources for Teens

As any parent knows, it can be difficult to communicate with your teen, especially when it comes to a sensitive topic like dating violence. Perhaps you’re not quite sure what to say, or maybe your teen doesn’t seem to want to talk.

Whatever stage you and your teen are going through in discussing and learning about dating violence — whether you want to teach them about healthy relationships for the future, or you’re concerned with a relationship they are currently in and want to give them advice — there are plenty of resources that can be really helpful.

From phone numbers and victim services centers, to online pamphlets and sites, we’ve put together a list of some of the best resources for teens. Share them with your teen and look at them together, or simply pass them on.


Who to Call

  • National Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 77054. Call or text with peer advocates, or contact them using this confidential online form or Live Chat

What to Read

Online Interactive

Spread the Knowledge

Other Organizations

  • loveisrespect: Advice and info on healthy dating, to empower youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships. loveisrespect is connected with The National Dating Abuse Helpline, which can be reached 24/7 via call or text (See: Who to Call)
  • Boys Town: Boys Town works to reunite children with their families when possible, or give them the skills and foundation needed to build a life on their own. They strive to help every child, “from those who may simply be struggling or in doubt to those who are in need of the most severe behavioral care”
  • National Runaway Safeline: If you’re thinking about leaving home, or you have and are seeking information and help, the Safeline is one of the top resources for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth and their families
  • Trevor Project: The national crisis lifeline for LGBTQ teens and adults. They have suicide prevention services for youth in digital spaces, counseling via IM, and a large online social network for LGBTQ people
  • 1 is 2 many: Launched by Vice President Joe Biden, this initiative uses technology and outreach to spread knowledge about dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults
  • TeenWire: In addition to information about healthy and unhealthy relationships, TeenWire has resources about everything from body image to sexual health
  • ShowMeLoveDC: A campaign to raise awareness about healthy relationships and provide resources for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence
  • Northwest Network: A network founded by and for LGBTQ survivors, focused on safety, support, and empowerment
  • The Anti-Violence Project: AVP offers free and confidential assistance to thousands of LGBTQ people each year in all five boroughs of New York City
  • A Thin Line: An MTV campaign created to empower teens to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse
National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

On January 31st, just over a week after he had been officially inducted into office for a second term, President Barack Obama made a direct address, endorsing February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

In his official address, Obama declared: “This month, we stand with those who have known the pain and isolation of an abusive relationship, and we recommit to ending the cycle of violence that affects too many of our sons and daughters.”

President Obama and his administration continue to make preventing abuse a priority, through initiatives such as Vice President Joe Biden’s 1 is 2 many, committing to reduce violence against young women.

According to the organization Loveisrespect, one in three teens in the US is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a partner. While teen dating violence can happen to anyone, the majority of the violence affects young women. Women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence- this is almost triple the national average.

As encouraged by President Obama, let February be a month for taking a stand against dating violence in whatever way you can. Talk to teachers at your local high school, bring up dating violence at the next school board meeting, and have a conversation with the teens in your life about healthy relationships. A great resource to share with them is the website loveisrespect, which has safety planning tips, relevant blog posts and more.

Want to know how to help a teen loved one experiencing abuse? Call our advocates today at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). Also, stay tuned into our blog for upcoming posts with resources and ways to empower your teen if they are experiencing dating violence.

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.

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1is2Many Campaign PSA

On June 21, the White House unveiled a PSA supporting Vice President Biden’s 1is2Many campaign, a landmark effort to end dating violence. Last year, Vice President Biden launched the 1is2Many initiative to focus on a troubling fact—women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of relationship violence. The PSA features President Obama, Vice President Biden and many male sports leaders including Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin, Jimmy Rollins, Eva Longoria, David Beckham, Joe Torre and Andy Katz.

Young women still face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, one in 10 teens have reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in five young women have been sexually assaulted while they’re in college.

The 1is2Many campaign has consistently used The National Dating Abuse Helpline as a resource for young adults to seek help. If you or someone you know is under the age of 24 and would like to speak to a peer advocate about your relationship, text “loveis” to 77054 or chat online at loveisrespect.org or call 1-866-331-9474.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Gives Thanks

This has been a big year for The Hotline. We want to thank every caller who reached out and every friend or stranger who helped them overcome domestic violence, one step at a time.

Our callers
We are so thankful that you found the courage to pick up your phone and ask for help. The Hotline received a record number of calls this year, which means that a record number of people sought help from domestic violence; a step towards safety and happiness. Your stories have moved us and have further empowered us to continue the work we do.

Brave bystanders
By choosing to act, you stood up against domestic violence and may have even saved a life. As a stranger, speaking up may have felt uncomfortable, but your courage helped create change and showed someone that they are not alone.

Supportive family and friends
Thank you for your loyalty to someone who may have felt lost or alone during their difficult situation. We want to recognize your dedication to ending domestic violence and your patience along the way. Having a strong support system is one of the most important parts of overcoming relationship violence—thanks for being a pillar of strength for your loved one.

Vice President Biden’s 1 is 2 Many Campaign
We’d like to extend a thanks to Vice President Biden for his continued efforts to raise awareness of the issue. His 1 is 2 Many campaign has brought much-needed attention to dating abuse on college campuses. We would also like to thank him for his support of the National Dating Abuse Helpline, especially in his promotion of their new texting service.

Media outlets that shared real stories of domestic violence
We are so excited to have been included in the conversations around domestic violence as depicted on television this year. Networks like Bravo showed the affects of domestic violence on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Entertainment Tonight even aired an exposé about domestic violence, where viewers heard from survivors directly. These television specials helped women watching recognize unhealthy behaviors and helped start a dialogue about how to end domestic violence.

Lastly, we want to thank all of you who are reading this. By visiting our site, you are educating yourself about domestic violence and can spread the message to others. Thank you for taking an interest in our services and the domestic violence movement. We hope you will have a safe and healthy holiday spent with loved ones.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Regional Town Hall on Engaging Men and Stopping Violence Against Women

Townhall The Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones and loveisrespect.org Youth Advisory Board Member Angela Garcia-Ditta from Austin participated in a town hall meeting convened by Vice President Joe Biden in Dallas on October 25, 2011. The two served on the panel, fielding questions from audience members around the issue of domestic violence, especially as it’s seen on college campuses. Students from several local Texas universities were in attendance.

Vice President Biden convened town hall meetings in 10 states across the country to focus on domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The goal was to get more men involved in speaking out against dating abuse and domestic violence.