As Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) begins, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) recognizes the growing needs of survivors of domestic and dating violence. Since October 2021, The Hotline has experienced record high numbers of contacts (calls, texts and chats) from people impacted by relationship abuse seeking support, resulting in longer hold times and some contacts being directed to reach out at a different time when hold times exceed 15 minutes. On average, The Hotline is receiving nearly 80,000 incoming calls, chats and texts each month, underscoring just how prevalent the public health concern of intimate partner violence is.
“Domestic violence is often misinterpreted as a private issue. It is, in fact, a public health crisis that affects the safety of families, businesses, and communities across the country,” said Katie Ray-Jones CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. For us to truly understand relationship abuse, we must recognize that it is more than physical violence. Any pattern of behavior used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in a relationship is violence.”
Seventy-five percent (75%) of people served by The Hotline last year identified as victims/survivors, 13% identified as friends, family members or other helpers, and 12% identified as “other,” such as those working with survivors or even those causing harm to a partner. Of the abuse types reported, 96% of the contacts reported emotional abuse, 61% reported physical abuse, 26% reported economic/financial abuse, 15% reported digital abuse, and 11% reported sexual abuse.
Throughout October and November, The Hotline and the National Network to End Domestic Violence will be sharing content on their social media channels to help raise awareness and educate the public on the complex dynamics of domestic violence. A Week of Action is planned for October 17-23, 2022, designed to engage advocates, partners, and the public in starting a national conversation.
If you have any questions about The Hotline’s work or about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please contact The Hotline’s media team at [email protected] or (202) 713-5503.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know needs help call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or go to thehotline.org.