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- What happens after contactors interact with an advocate at The Hotline and LIR?
- Does contactors’ behavior vary depending on the assistance received from The Hotline and LIR?
- How helpful did contactors perceive the information and referrals they received after they contacted The Hotline/LIR?
Hotlines for victims/survivors of domestic violence and dating violence (DV) are an integral approach for providing intervention and prevention 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”).
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the services provided by The Hotline and LIR. This report describes outcomes for contactors immediately after their interaction with The Hotline or LIR and then again approximately two weeks later. The results of this evaluation can be used to inform future efforts to monitor and improve domestic violence and dating violence hotlines.
Key Findings and Highlights
- The Hotline and LIR serve a variety of contactors, not just survivors/victims of DV
- Abuse was more often reported among callers than chatters
- 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
- There is a relationship between the type of service provided by The Hotline and LIR and subsequent behavioral outcomes
- 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
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.
McDonnell, K.A. Nagaraj, N.C., Coen, E.J. Short-Term Outcomes of Contacting The National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect. OPRE Report # 2020-55. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- The Hotline:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Loveisrespect (LIR):
- 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