The National Domestic Violence Hotline Educates on Pandemic’s Impact on Survivors in Annual Policy Week

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2021

Media Contact:[email protected], (202) 713-5503

WASHINGTON – As part of its work to advocate for survivors of domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) held its annual policy week from June 14-18, to inform lawmakers and federal agencies about real-life experiences survivors have shared, like increased risks and barriers to accessing support, over the course of the past year and the pandemic. In its 25th year of serving survivors in the United States, The Hotline works with policymakers and others in the field to ensure that survivors’ needs are at the center of decisions that impact them, and advocate for increased funding for organizations responding to the public health epidemic of relationship abuse.

During Policy Week, The Hotline met with federal agencies and representatives to share The Hotline’s impact during 2020. The Hotline’s leadership met with the White House Gender Policy Council, the Office of Victims of Crime, and the Administration on Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Hotline also met with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who represents Austin, Texas, where The Hotline is headquartered.

“We must continue to provide concrete paths to resources and advocate for policy change, so survivors know that their voices will be heard and acknowledged,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “We are continuing to shift our advocacy to best meet the needs of survivors and their loved ones. Our goal and mission remain the same: raise public awareness on intimate partner violence and answer the call to support and shift power back to survivors.”

In 2020, The Hotline received 636,968 calls, chats, and texts, a 2.3% increase compared to 2019 and the highest incoming volume in the organization’s history. Of the contacts received, 71% identified as survivors of domestic violence, and 13% as friends and family. The full impact report can be found here.

The Hotline also hosted a webinar, “Expanding the Ecosystem of Support for Survivors,” in the U.S., with FreeFrom, a Los Angeles-based national organization working to dismantle the connection between intimate partner violence and financial insecurity. During the webinar, The Hotline and FreeFrom echoed what each organization has heard from survivors: a broad ecosystem of support is needed, and financial resources are vital to that system. This means growing and expanding staff, conducting research and surveys and engaging with donors, staff and agencies.

If you have questions about The Hotline’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic or about its Policy Week specifically, please contact the media team at [email protected] or (202) 713-5503.


For twenty-five years, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has answered the call – over 5.6 million calls, chats, and texts to date – of those affected by relationship abuse. As the only 24/7/365 national service provider offering services via call, chat, and text, we work to shine a light on domestic violence by supporting and advocating for survivors, providing hope in times of crisis, and promoting healthy relationships for all.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know needs help call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, text the word “Start” to 88788, or visit