Short-Term Outcomes after Contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect: Comparing Survivors to other Contactors

Publication Date: September 2, 2020
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  • Published: 2020

Introduction

Research Questions

  1. Does knowledge, self-efficacy (confidence), and hope for the future assessed immediately and two weeks after contacting The Hotline and LIR vary between survivors and other contactors?
  2. Do intents to change behavior and behavior change (i.e., completing an action or behavior) assessed immediately and two weeks after contacting The Hotline and LIR vary between survivors and other contactors?
  3. How is the type of assistance provided by The Hotline and LIR associated with behavior change, and does this association differ between survivors and other contactors?

Hotlines for victims and survivors of domestic violence and/or dating violence (DV) are an important source of information and support for individuals seeking intervention and preventative care services. However, evaluation research on the impact of these programs is not widely available. The Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections, and Text (ADVHOCaT) project describes the activities and short-term outcomes for those contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and loveisrespect (LIR; the hotline targeted towards young people). The Hotline and LIR serve a wide variety of contactors (those who contact The Hotline or LIR), including victims and survivors, friends and family of victims and survivors, abusers, and service providers. This report provides an overview of how short-term outcomes differ among different types of contactors seeking support from The Hotline and LIR.

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the services provided by The Hotline and LIR by describing the use patterns and short-term outcomes for contactors.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • Short-term outcomes for domestic violence survivors and other contactors (friends, families, and service providers) vary and the observed variation is likely due to a variety of factors.
  • Compared to other contactors, a higher percentage of survivors reported changes in knowledge, self-efficacy, and hope for the future immediately after contacting The Hotline and LIR. Future research can investigate changes that occur in a follow-up period longer than two weeks.  
  • Compared to other contactors, significantly higher percentages of survivors reported contacting a community resource, making plans for safety, contacting legal services two weeks after initially contacting The Hotline and LIR. A higher percentage of other contactors reported sharing a community resource or referral compared to survivors.
  • The type of assistance provided by The Hotline/LIR was correlated with performing certain actions (such as making safety plans after receiving crisis de-escalation services). Additional research is needed to further explore these relationships.
  • Hotline advocates should continue to be prepared to offer services to both survivors and other contactors but can consider further tailoring services for each group. 

Methods

Contactors who were eligible to participate completed a survey immediately following their initial contact with The Hotline and LIR and a follow-up survey approximately two weeks after initial contact. Additionally, The Hotline and LIR advocates entered anonymous data about contactors (including mode of contact, type of contactor, demographics, type of abuse, services requested and services offered) into a database at the time of initial contact to The Hotline or LIR.

Citation

McDonnell, K.A. Nagaraj, N.C., Fuerst M.F. Short-Term Outcomes after Contacting The National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect: Comparing Survivors to other Contactors. OPRE Report # 2020-119. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

The Hotline:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
loveisrespect (LIR):
the helpline targeted towards young people
Contactors:
Those who contact The Hotline and LIR and connect with advocates to receive services by telephone, online chat, or text messaging
Survivors:
Contactors who identify as victims or survivors of domestic violence
Other Contactors:
Contactors who do not identify as survivors of domestic violence; typically friends, family members, service providers, and abusers
Advocates:
The Hotline and LIR staff who answer calls, chats, and texts
Last Reviewed Date: