The Hotline Calls You May Not Expect

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The Hotline Calls You May Not Expect

As you may imagine, our 24/7 Hotline receives all types of calls from all over the country. The largest group of callers is people experiencing abuse of some sort, questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship and seeking help and services. Our second largest group of callers is friends and family concerned about loved ones.

What you may not know is that we also frequently speak with people who identify as abusive, or who are concerned about behaviors that may be unhealthy.

We treat all callers with dignity and respect, and talk to these people because we support accountability. Every call from someone who is becoming more aware of their unhealthy behavior is an opportunity to plant a seed for change.

No matter what the situation, our Hotline advocates are supportive and remain empathetic.

What will an advocate recommend?

Depending on what you’re calling about, our advocates will talk to you about different courses of action. If throughout the call you and the advocate are beginning to identify unhealthy behaviors in your relationship, they’ll discuss these red flags with you and then brainstorm healthy alternatives for the behavior.

EX: “You can’t change your feelings of jealousy all the time, but you can change how you are confronting your partner about these feelings.”

They’ll talk about strategies for calming down and deescalating if you feel yourself getting angry, and discuss how your actions can negatively affect yourself and those around you.

Callers may want to know about Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs — but not all callers asking about BIPPS are the same. While some are looking for a referral because the court has ordered them to, others are seeking out this information on their own accord. In 2010, Hotline advocates made between 950-1,000 referrals to these programs.

Can you really call without being judged?

Yes. If you’re looking for someone to lend a confidential, impartial ear, our advocates at The Hotline are a great option. They’ll listen, withhold judgment and help you begin to address what’s going on in your relationship.

If you’re questioning your own behavior at all, or if someone else has brought it to your attention, acknowledging it is a step in the right direction. Give us a call today at 1-800-799-SAFE to start the conversation.

Comment section

14 replies
  1. Hi , the story make more nerves the nothing , how can I get help ,when I have no bruises know
    And like she say ,legals don’t want. To persecuted the case on court?
    So we have to die before someone do same thing ?
    How an in scape with my 16 years old ,if the police not do nothing to Him?
    Where I go after 25years ,if his controlling. Money , car and everything ales ?
    The someone stop to tell us to do these ,do that and we start to make better for people like myself to be hear!
    Please . Mentally abuse hurt more that you all think

  2. I’m in a physical emotional nd abusive relationship nd I can’t get away. Every time I try he tells me he is gonna kill my family nd me he comes to my job. So I stay nd things get better for a couple days then it goes right back nd he takes my phone nd checks everything nd he checks my paychecks to so Idk wat to do someone please help!!! I’m desperate!

  3. Hi Desaray,

    Thanks for reaching out. I know that it must be so scary and frustrating to have your partner always controlling you. We often see that abusive people are very manipulative and will do anything to maintain power and control in the relationship, include threatening you and your family. Economic abuse is also a very common tactic that abusive people will do to keep you trapped. I’m so sorry that you are going through this.

    But you don’t have to do this alone. I would encourage you to call us at 1(800)799-7233. We are here 24/7 and are completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about your situation, develop a plan for your safety and get you connected to local services that can help you escape that situation.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  4. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for reaching out. Absolutely, mental abuse is a very significant part of domestic violence. Mental abuse can leave some very deep scars that can take a long time to heal. Abusive people will often control the finances, transportation etc in order to better trap and control you. Know that this is very common. It can be really frustrating when you reach out for help in the courts or police and not receive the help that you need.

    But know that you do not have to face this alone. I would really encourage you to give us a call at 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24/7 and we are completely confidential/anonymous. We would be able to find you local programs that can help you escape the situation, develop a plan for your safety, and support you in the ways that you might be needing.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  5. Hi my kids have been telling my family that my ex wife new husband has been kinda mistreat them and call them names and they are scared to tell me what’s going on. How and what can I do to find out what is going on and how can I take action legally?

  6. I started very young at the age of 13 I got pregnant at 14 and my ex husband started controlling me and physically abusing me almost on a daily basis I lost 3 baby’s due to miscarriage because of the abuse on my 4th pregnancy I was 8 months and he did it aga in that’s why I left I was single for almost a year and met who I thought was the man of my dreams. Everything was fine until we started living together one night he came home very late and drunk and hurt me pretty bad broke my collar bone to be exact I was very embarrassed to have let myself in to yet another realatuonahip like the past he apologized and begged me to stay everything was fine for about 6 months the. 4 days ago he did it again rebroke my colar bone I’m all brused up and in a lot of pain he is all I have and I am all he has I don’t want to leave I have faith he can change but I can’t stop replaying the scene in my head I’m so hurt and confused at this point I feel stuck because I love him so much I don’t want to Leave bit I feel as if I should he promises a change and to never do it again but he already has what should I do just walk away from the only person I know and love or have faith he can change over time he suggested counseling he is a alcoholic and promises to change that as well I feel bad because he grew up around abuse and he is absolutely against it but can’t control his anger under the influence help please

  7. Greg,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. This sounds like such a scary situation. It’s understandable to feel upset and concerned when your children share that they are being hurt. I am so glad that your children know that you are a safe outlet for them and that can make a huge difference with this situation.

    Advocates with the National Domestic Violence Hotline are not legal advocates, I don’t want to give you any wrong information. I encourage you to reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline, ChildHelp at 1800-422-4453. You can also give us a call at 1800-799-7233 to talk through the situation and discuss helpful safety planning tips with your children.

    Until then,


  8. Heaven,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like such a scary situation. It is completely understandable to feel confused, abuse is such a complicated situation. And that’s why thinking of your next steps isn’t an easy thing to do, there is so much to take into account. You deserve to take that time out to think about what is going to be safest for you.

    From what you shared, this sounds like a very abusive relationship. We know that people who are abusive use many different tactics to gain power and control in the relationship. Including manipulating their partner, minimizing the abuse, or finding excuses for their behavior like blaming it on alcohol. It is understandable to have hope and to trust the person you love, we know that the promise to change is a common manipulation strategy.

    You don’t have to take any steps that you feel uncertain of, but I would encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and may also help you find local support services like counseling. Know that this is not treatment that you deserve and that reaching out with this comment took a lot of strength.

    Hope you can call,


  9. I’ve been in abusive relationship for some time. My husband and I have been together 13 years married for 8. He is also an alcoholic. He has now chosen sobriety and will leave treatment on Friday.

    All of the abuse would happen while he was drunk or otherwise still active in his addiction, or trying to ” white knuckle” sobriety. He has said some pretty nasty things to me while sober, but then again I have said some pretty nasty and hurtful things to him. The physical stuff always happened while he was drunk. If he was passed out or close to passing out, if you tried to wake or otherwise move him, he would immediately grab the first thing he got his hands on. Hard. He would also push me away hard. It did not matter who was trying to wake him, he did it to his mother once.

    I am wondering if I am foolish to stay in this marriage. Please help!

  10. Hello Laura,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our online community. It sounds like you’ve had some very scary experiences over the last 13 years with your husband. We know that it can be incredibly difficult to figure out what you want, and what you need to be safe, when you’re in an abusive relationship. Having your focus and energy constantly demanded by another person means that you don’t often have the ability to focus on yourself and figure out what you need and want.

    I also hear that your husband’s alcoholism is another big factor in the situation. While we recognize that alcohol can impact abuse, we don’t see alcohol as a cause of domestic violence. Alcohol has the same inhibition-lowering effect on abusive people as it does on non-abusive people, and it doesn’t make someone randomly abusive. Additionally, if your husband knows that he hurts you when he drinks, and then continues to choose to drink, he is putting you in danger.

    If you would like to talk more about this, or brainstorm ways to increase your safety with your husband leaving treatment soon, please feel free to call us at 1(800) 799-7233 or chat us online Monday through Friday, 9am-7pm CST. All conversations are confidential and anonymous.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  11. I.have been married.for.a.twelve years I have 5 kids at first was ok then by the years it.started with the hitting and then the insults every time now its gotten to my kids he insults my kids put there self-esteem.down I need . Help in finding a away how to get out of this PLEASE HELP

  12. Hi Tatiana,

    We’re so glad that you’re reaching out for help. It sounds like you and your kids are in a dangerous and scary situation. No one has the right to be verbally abusive to you or your family, or to hurt you this way. Each of you has the right to be safe, and no one should take that away from you.

    We can definitely talk about your situation and help you create a plan to leave safely. You can reach our advocates by phone 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, and by online chat here on our website from 9am – 7pm CST. We keep all of our conversations anonymous and confidential to be a safe place for you to talk.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  13. Hi I jyst start a relationship with a guy 3 months nw. We fuss sometimes and he can be very mean sumtymes. Last nite was scary he wouldn’t let mi out of his room. He threw mi around.choked mi.said he would kill me..I hit mi head on the dresser. I never been with an abusive person. He used tu beat up his ex girlfriend tu . He apologize and says he’s sorry.he held mi and even cried a little.I can’t trust him anymre.I’m afraid tu b around him alone. He says he’ll never du tht again but.Idk Wht tu du .I love him n he loves mi.he said he thinks he needs hlp. I’m gonna b smart n not go over his place for a while but tht mite make him even mre upset.Idk Wht tu du.help

  14. Dear Anon,

    Thank you for writing to us. You must have been so scared when your boyfriend threw you around, choked you and said he would kill you. Anytime a person puts their hands on you it is domestic violence. Of course he will say he is sorry and often shed a tear but this doesn’t mean he will change. The fact that he was abusive to his previous girlfriend is a sign that he in fact has not changed. I also want to say that the act of choking you is very serious. Research has shown that this type of abuse can often put you in danger of loosing your life to domestic violence. I know you love him but the old saying, “love conquers all” is wrong. Sometimes we have to leave men we love because they will not change and they will make our lives miserable. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline so we can talk more about your situation. Our number is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate MT

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