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- What services and resources do The Hotline and LIR provide to contactors (i.e., those who contact The Hotline and LIR, including victims/survivors, friends and family, service providers, and abusers?)
- Do contactors receive the information and assistance they need and/or seek and do they view it as helpful?
- What are the trends and patterns in the various modes of service and which modes of service do contactors prefer?
Hotlines and help lines for victims/survivors of domestic violence (DV) are an integral approach for providing intervention and prevention services; however, the evaluation of these programs is nascent. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and loveisrespect (LIR; the help line targeted towards young people) provide information and assistance to adult and youth victims/survivors of domestic or dating violence, their friends and families, service providers, and others, including batterers/abusers. They do this via 24-hour, national, toll-free, and confidential telephone hotlines, online chat, text messaging services, and websites. Highly-trained advocates provide crisis intervention and emotional support; information about national, state, and community resources; and nationwide referrals to services to those who contact The Hotline and LIR (“contactors”).
The purpose of this project is to 1) describe The Hotline and LIR’s activities and outcomes for those who contact the hotlines immediately after interacting with an advocate and 2) evaluate the services provided by The Hotline and LIR.
Key Findings and Highlights
- Advocates at The Hotline and LIR provide support to a substantial number of contactors through multiple methods.
- The Hotline and LIR serve a variety of users, not just victims and survivors of domestic violence.
- The Hotline and LIR provide crucial emotional support.
- Contactors consider the information and resources that The Hotline and LIR provide to be helpful.
- Advocates provide more services than contactors explicitly requested.
- Nearly all contactors positively rate the services received from The Hotline and LIR.
- Although most contacts are still made via telephone, more people are using online chat over time.
- Potential users name online chat as their preferred method to connect.
McDonnell, K.A., Nagaraj, N.C., Mead, K.H., Bingenheimer, J.B., Stevens, H., Gianattasio, K.Z., & Wood, S.R. (2018). “An Evaluation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect. A report from the Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections, and Text Project.” Prepared for the Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- The Hotline:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- loveisrespect (the helpline targeted towards young people)
- Those who contact The Hotline and LIR and connect with advocates to receive services by telephone, online chat, or text messaging.
- The Hotline and LIR staff who answer calls, chats, and texts