Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) is the only 24/7 hotline providing crisis intervention and prevention services via phone, chat, and text to anyone, aged 13 and up, impacted by relationship abuse. The Hotline and their prevention program for youth, love is respect, provide free, confidential services that are available in English and Spanish (through bilingual advocates) and in 200+ languages through translation. Demand for The Hotline’s services has increased by nearly 50% over last year. In February 2022, incoming contact volume reached historic levels – in part due to the launch of Google’s crisis search optimization which made The Hotline’s information more accessible. This year, The Hotline is on track to receive and answer more contacts than ever before. This increased volume has significantly impacted wait times.
The Hotline proposes to utilize OVC funding to expand capacity to provide crisis intervention services using trauma-informed and culturally responsive approaches, that protect the safety and confidentiality of victims in the U.S. and its territories. This goal will be accomplished by hiring a record number of program services staff including advocates; enhancing training and quality assurance; launching an inclusive public awareness campaign that provides education on abuse and harassment and The Hotline’s 24/7 Spanish services; developing informational materials and webinars for service providers, stakeholders, and other helpers; and by sharing knowledge and leveraging the expertise of others in the domestic violence field.
Applying under priority area 1A, training enhancements under this award will involve assessing and updating The Hotline’s training curriculum and providing continuing education for advocates to ensure relevant, high-quality, and survivor-centered services. This will include supporting those experiencing online abuse and harassment and supporting survivors who have been historically marginalized (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and individuals with disabilities). The Hotline’s 2022 online harassment and abuse survey will be key in informing these efforts, developing materials, and the public awareness campaign that will provide culturally specific education on online abuse and harassment. Additionally, The Hotline will subaward funding to Battered Women’s Justice Project to provide victims with legal support regarding custody, and to Esperanza United for their partnership on the public awareness campaign.
The proposed activities will significantly increase access to 24/7 crisis services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, decrease wait times across Hotline channels, ensure advocates are equipped with necessary information to deliver high-quality and culturally responsive services, and provide enhanced education, information, and resources on emerging domestic violence topics.