Domestic Violence Hotline Celebrates Twenty Years
On February 21st, 2016, The National Domestic Violence Hotline celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Based in Austin, TX, on February 21st, 1996, “The Hotline,” as it is informally known, took its very first call from a woman who was looking for resources and information about domestic violence. In March of 2016, The Hotline is expected to take its four millionth call. On their website, they stated that their four millionth call is “a milestone that serves as a reminder of how far we’ve come and how much work is left to do.” They pride themselves on saving lives and helping make a difference in domestic violence situations.
When reached out for comment on what it was like to be an advocate and how they felt about The Hotline celebrating twenty years, Advocate 39 on the online chat had this to say: “Unfortunately, this is our crisis line so I can’t answer questions, but I encourage you to look through our website as it offers information on our services and advocate perspectives, as well as other information around domestic violence.”
While there was no other way to reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline besides calling the actual hotline itself (which can be a danger to tie up the lines simply for questioning), it was humbling to know that the advocates online sounded proud of what they were doing and that people were spreading the word about them.
However, there are sister sites to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Break the Cycle and Loveisrespect are two of their side projects. Break the Cycle states that they are the “leading national nonprofit organization providing comprehensive dating abuse programs exclusively to young people ages twelve to twenty-four. From the classroom to the courtroom to the floor of Congress, we work every day to give young people, and those who care about them, the tools they need to live safer, healthier lives.” Loveisrespect states that their mission is to “engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.” Both websites have resources to call for help and have suggestions as to how to leave an abusive relationship, distinguish what is a healthy or abusive relationship, and target younger people rather than adults.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call 1-800-799-7233 or dial 1-800-787-3224 if you are hard of hearing. It is also possible to talk with someone from The National Domestic Violence Hotline online. Domestic violence is a very real and very scary situation. Do not hesitate to reach out for help. You could save either your own life or someone else’s. There is no need for anyone having to suffer in silence for what they think is love.