The Hotline Embarks on First International Exchange

In the fall of 2023, the US National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) embarked on the first ever information exchange trip on domestic violence between the United States and United Kingdom. The two-day visit had more than 50 participants sharing best practices and trends in helpline operations, interventions for partners who cause harm, technology-facilitated abuse, and innovative approaches to the global epidemic of domestic violence.

The information exchange was organized in partnership with the Domestic Abuse Commissioners’ office (DAC), this historic visit aimed to foster cross collaboration, connection and learning to further support all individuals affected by domestic violence in an increasingly global landscape. The US delegation included The Hotline’s CEO along with several executive staff members and a representative from the White House Gender Policy Council.

During the visit, made possible by the generous support of a private funder, The Hotline’s delegation engaged in knowledge-sharing sessions with more than 30 organizations and experts within the UK domestic abuse sector through a Helpline Consortium Roundtable. The delegation also held meaningful exchanges with officials from the UK Home Office and various agencies at the forefront of ending domestic violence across the four jurisdictions including meaningful policy and funding to domestic violence response and prevention.

The delegation gained significant insights into the UK’s pioneering strategies in addressing domestic violence, especially pertaining to the operation and enhancement of their resources and services.

The Hotline was interested to understand how the UK domestic abuse helpline responds to the rising instances of technology-facilitated abuse – specifically intimate image abuse, digital risks, and the internet of things and their support services for those who choose to abuse to create culture and behavior change.

To that end, The Hotline attended a closed-door convening, facilitated by UK domestic abuse sector helplines, with a wide array of sector service providers. Alongside online safety and helpline best practices, attendees discussed interventions to support partners who cause harm, and specific support offered by and for BME, LGBT+ and deaf and disabled survivors, respectively.

“We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues in the United Kingdom,” stated Katie Ray-Jones, Chief Executive Officer at The Hotline, “This first-ever visit has been instrumental in broadening our perspective on best practices and innovative ways we can work together to end the global epidemic of domestic violence. We know this will be the first of many meaningful exchanges between our two countries.”

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, says, “It was a pleasure to host The Hotline and White House Gender Policy Council delegates for this timely and thought-provoking exchange. I am grateful to domestic abuse services in the UK who shared engaging insights from their work on the ground, particularly from their innovative work to tackle online harms. I look forward to continuing working with our colleagues in the US to ensure all victims and survivors of domestic abuse get the support and protection they need.”

The exchange of ideas and practices during the visit has provided The Hotline with valuable insights that will be integrated into its operations to better serve individuals impacted by domestic violence across the United States. The Hotline and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s office look forward to continuing their new and exciting partnership and are particularly grateful for all the programs and service providers who were able to participate in the visit as well as incredible corporate partners like the No More Foundation and a private funder.