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4 Million Voices: Giving Hope to Survivors of Domestic Violence

domestic violence advocate

4 Million Voices: Giving Hope to Survivors of Domestic Violence

by Katie Ray-Jones, CEO

This month, The Hotline answered its four millionth contact, which is one of four million conversations that our advocates have had with victims and survivors of domestic violence in need over the last 20 years. From my perspective, that number represents a large population of people hurting, and it reinforces that there is still work to be done. On the other hand, that number also represents the courage of so many people seeking help and resources.

To commemorate this milestone, we created the audio piece embedded in this post. You’ll hear examples of stories our advocates hear on a daily basis, representing the difficult realities of millions of people in our communities, and the hope we provide when they courageously choose to reach out.

Read the full post on Medium.

Full transcript of audio piece:

[Sound of phone ringing]

Female Advocate: Thank you for calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Are you safe to talk?

Female Caller: I think so. My husband and I just got into a fight and he stormed out. I’m in the car with my son and I need help. I don’t know what to do or where to go.

[Sound of phone ringing]

Male Caller: My partner wants to look at my phone constantly. I’m not hiding anything, so I almost always let him. When I don’t though, he yells at me and he tells me I’m nothing without him. He also doesn’t let me have other guy friends. Is that normal?

[Sound of phone ringing]

Female Caller: I’ve been with him for ten years and haven’t questioned it once. But I work hard too, and I want access to my own bank accounts. He keeps telling me that I don’t need access to our money since he’ll always be with me. But I may want to buy something without him, and at times I feel helpless. What should I do?

[Sound of phone ringing]

Female Caller: My boyfriend makes me do things that I don’t want to do sometimes. He says I owe it to him. But it can’t be rape if he’s my boyfriend, right?

[Somber music plays in the background]

Female Advocate: I can tell you that these are true representations of the types of calls, texts and chats that we receive every day. They come from victims themselves, whether teenagers, women or men, and from those that are bystanders, like coaches and teaches and family members, who feel helpless as they see their loved ones suffer. But there is hope for victims. As a Hotline advocate, it is my job to help put the power back in their hands.

[Sound of phone ringing]

Female Advocate: Thank you for calling the National Domestic violence Hotline. Are you safe to talk?

[Music ends]

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