The National Domestic Violence Hotline – Digital Services is the organization which provides all advocacy services on www.thehotline.org and through 24-hour telephone services at 1-800-799-7233.
Anonymous Digital Service is defined as a one-time confidential contact between a user and advocate in which no identifying information is verified.
The Hotline Provides Digital Services
The Hotline gives users options for non-digital services when necessary and practical. Such choices include opting not to engage in digital services and opting not to provide identifiable information during interactions with advocates. Users concerned for their physical safety and well-being are encouraged to contact The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Confidential and Anonymous Chat
Our live chat services are provided by Caspio as a service (SaaS) provider. Chat users are asked to enter their name and other personal information to facilitate service with an operator. IP addresses are also required to facilitate a connection. Information collected from a user on a voluntary basis can include:
- Organization name
- How user-heard about the service
The National Domestic Violence Hotline collects limited demographic and geo-locational information in order to provide services. The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines anonymous communication as a onetime individual contact where digital services are provided between a chatter and advocate in which no information is collected that can connect the user to the individual service interaction. Dialogue transcripts of chats are purged regularly. Any information that is temporarily maintained is core to our evaluation of services provided to persons contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Identifying information is in no way cross-verified. A chat user’s information, including any personally identifiable information, will only be shared with persons implicitly linked to The Hotline’s operations. We do not sell, trade or rent personal information that chat users provide. All advocates, including volunteers, are required to sign a client confidentiality policy. After any chat or email session, persons contacting The Hotline may be asked to fill out an exit survey in order to provide valuable feedback about our service. Providing information in an exit survey is completely voluntary. Surveys may ask for contact information (e.g., email address) and for demographic information (e.g., zip code, age or income level).
Text/SMS Messaging Services
The Hotline offers services through a text message short code in which all inbound phone-numbers are scrambled. These services include:
- Text-for-help services: The same privacy standards applied to our chat services apply to our text-for-help platform. Any statement of charges or billing will appear as a text message sent to Waterfall, based in Austin, and is in no way connected to The Hotline. Users may be asked to provide voluntary feedback to survey questions.
- Opt-in newsletter/updates: Users can opt-in to receive regular messages providing updates relevant issue-related content. Users can opt-out any time. While numbers may be scrambled, but users may provide voluntary feedback to survey questions.
- One-time information messages: These are one-time messages are sent to a user to inform the user of specific issue content. The user has the option to learn more on follow-up page. No further communication will occur unless prompted by the user. The Hotline will not provide crisis services in this type of interaction.
Users can opt-out of services by texting ‘STOP’ to our shortcode any time. Users will be charged standard text messaging rates relative to their provider’s plans. Users should be aware and mindful that text messages sent using modern smart phones are saved indefinitely and could compromise their safety. Users concerned for their physical safety and well-being are encouraged to contact The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Software as a Service and Application Service Providers (3rd party)
The Hotline will undertake an annual review of any third party privacy policies affecting Hotline services. The Hotline is not responsible for changes or updates made in the interim.
We may access and/or disclose personally identifiable information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or (b) comply with legal process served on us.
The Hotline’s advocates are considered mandatory reporters by law. Users will be made aware that in situations regarding the welfare of a minor, any locating information disclosed will be reported to child protective services as required.
Our web servers automatically collect non-personal information such as the domain name of the Internet access provider, the Internet protocol address used to connect the computer to the Internet, the average time spent on our website, pages viewed, information searched for, access times and other relevant statistics.
Our site and services offer links to other websites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are entering another website for which The Hotline has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on all such sites as their policies may differ from ours.
When you make a donation on The Hotline’s website by clicking the Donate link in the menu, we must share some of your personally identifiable information with third parties in order to process the transaction. For example, we must share your credit card number with our credit card processor BBMS (Blackbaud Merchant Services) who utilizes the Raiser’s Edge software in order to process your payment. These third parties are not allowed to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services. We do not share any of your personally identifiable information with unrelated third parties for their own marketing purposes without your consent.
Notification of Policy Changes
Contacting the Website
National Domestic Violence Hotline
P.O. Box 90249, Austin, TX 78709