National Domestic Violence Hotline Projects Three Million Calls One Year Earlier Than Expected

Washington, DC – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) announced that it expects to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected – answering three million calls since the hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role the NDVH plays in assisting all victims of domestic violence.

The NDVH is a nationwide organization staffed by highly trained advocates who give victims of abuse lifesaving tools and referrals to programs that can immediately help. Unlike hotlines serving only one state or geographic area, the NDVH provides access to the largest national network of resources and shelters and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 170 languages. Last year, the hotline received 265,000 calls from victims, survivors, their families and friends, service providers and abusers.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing the hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, President of the NDVH. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the NDVH, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to the hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like the NDVH for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The NDVH provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, the hotline relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the NDVH.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to the NDVH.

Callers to the hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration.” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of the NDVH.   “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion elevate the dialogue and heighten awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”