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]

Comment section

8 replies
  1. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    thank you hotline; it does mean so much to let someone know about such horrific abuse!

    I hope and pray daily that other women do not fall for the cons that I did!

    I believed in second chances and know I believe in my chance to have peace no matter what!

    The most difficult part is asking for help from those that you have helped ; and due to such evil and selfishness, most turn a blind eye and disregard that it is a difficult time to clear up things financially and otherwise that an abuser has done with great intent!

    Clear proof has been ignored of the diabolical things.
    Law enforcement have said to me it is a male dominated world!

    I could never do what has been done to me.


  2. Hi Sheila,

    Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you have been through a lot, and you absolutely deserve to have peace. We’re here for you if you ever need us. Just call 1-800-799-7233 any time, or chat via this website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

  3. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I am the victim of violence. It started as name calling, then escalated to shoving and man handling me, then it escalated even further to a full on beat down…

  4. Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your comment. We removed part of your comment due to safety and privacy concerns, but what you shared sounds like a very scary and difficult situation. We are so sorry that your ex is choosing to treat you this way. His behavior, along with those who are harassing you on his behalf, is completely unacceptable. There is nothing you could have done to deserve this abuse. It sounds like you are getting some support from a crisis line, which is a very positive step you have taken. If you’d like to explore additional options and resources, we encourage you to contact us by calling 1-800-799-7233 or chatting here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  5. I’ve been in an abusive relationship for 13 years now and I don’t know how to get out. I feel helpless and hopeless and I want to do right by my children, I know this is damaging them. I feel like a terrible mother because I’m allowing them to be raised in an unhealthy and abusive relationship.

  6. Hi me,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. Abusive relationships can be so complicated, especially when there are children involved. You are doing your best as a mother, and the abuse is not your fault. Your partner is choosing to behave abusively, and it is not okay or acceptable. You are not alone. We are here for you 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, or you can chat live with an advocate via this website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  7. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I cannot call you now as my phone is stating :
    The number or code I am dialing is incorrect.
    Police report of all this and [state] has done nothing to protect me and my household with baby grandson.
    The identity and property theft is enormous.
    I need witness protection and not a single entity will help due to connections.
    Prayers please, I want peace and prayers for all involved in such acts with malice that I have had no part in.

  8. Hello She Tallent,

    Thank you for your comment. We are so sorry to hear that you are having trouble connecting by phone. 1-800-799-7233 is our toll-free number, so if you are dialing from anywhere in the United States, it should connect you. An alternative way to contact us is by chatting online here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time. Just click on the red “Chat Now” button on any page of this website to begin a chat.

Comments are closed.

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