Short-Term Outcomes Following Contact with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect

Publication Date: August 21, 2020
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  • Published: 2020

Introduction

Research Questions

  1. How did contactors’ knowledge, self-confidence, and hope for the future change immediately and two weeks after contacting The Hotline or LIR?
  2. How did contactor’s plans and intentions reported immediately after contacting The Hotline or LIR relate to their actions taken two weeks later?

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 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 DV, their friends and family, service providers, and others, including batterers/abusers. They do this through 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. The Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections, and Text (ADVHOCaT) project describes the activities and short-term outcomes for those contacting the Hotline and LIR (“contactors”).

Purpose

The purpose of the ADVHOCaT project was to evaluate the services provided by The Hotline and LIR by describing the use patterns and short-term outcomes for contactors. This snapshot presents the results from the second phase of the project. Specifically, it looks at changes in knowledge, self-confidence, hope for the future, and behavior changes reported immediately and two weeks after contacting The Hotline and LIR.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • Among those who responded to the follow-up survey, immediate changes in knowledge, self-efficacy, and hope for the future were sustained two weeks after contacting The Hotline and LIR.
  • Among those who responded to the follow-up survey, behavioral intentions reported immediately after contacting the Hotline and LIR were higher than actual behavior change reported at follow-up two weeks later.
  • It is feasible to safely follow-up with contactors of The Hotline and LIR who do not need immediate referrals two weeks later.
  • It is more difficult to follow-up with The Hotline/LIR chatters compared to callers.

Methods

Primary data collection occurred through two main approaches. First, 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 Following Contact with The National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect. OPRE Report # 2020-104. 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
Advocates:
The Hotline and LIR staff who answer calls, chats, and texts
Current as of: