The National Domestic Violence Hotline and Liz Claiborne Inc. announced Thursday the launch of loveisrespect.org the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NTDAH), a 24-hour national web-based and telephone helpline created to help teens (ages 13-18) experiencing dating abuse during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. Teen dating abuse affects nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide in a single year.
“If teens are not turning to their parents for help, it is essential that they have a private outlet where they can discuss their fears with someone who will provide immediate assistance,” said Sheryl Cates, the chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Texas Council on Family Violence. “This helpline and website were designed exclusively for teens so they can speak to a peer or an adult advocate anonymously and confidentially.”
Teens and parents anywhere in the country can call toll free, 866-331-9474 or log on to the interactive Web site, loveisrespect.org, and receive immediate, confidential assistance. In addition to a toll-free phone line, loveisrepect.org will be the first interactive dating abuse website, staffed by trained advocates, where teens can write and immediately get assistance in a one-on-one private chat room.
Liz Claiborne Inc. initiated and funded loveisrespect.org with a multi-year, million dollar grant as part of the Company’s commitment to helping end teen dating abuse in this country. The helpline and website will be operated by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
“My boyfriend terrorized me in a number of ways, but one of the most effective was through email. Email became one of his primary methods of control, especially when my parents refused to let us speak on the phone. He wanted to know where I was every second of every day” says Kendrick Sledge, a teen dating abuse survivor. “If there was a teen dating abuse helpline when I was being abused, I might not have stayed in the relationship as long as I did.”
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is a project of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. NDVH provides empowerment-based crisis intervention, information, and referral to victims of domestic violence and their friends and families. The Hotline serves as the only center in the nation with access to more than 5,200 sources of help including 2,000 battered women’s shelters in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NDVH and thehotline.org operate 24 hours each day, 365 days every year, in over 150 different languages, with a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing. All calls to NDVH are anonymous.