Family violence doesn’t take a break, and neither does The Family Place’s 24-hour crisis hotline. In 2018, we received 7,595 emergency hotline calls.
Our hotline counselors are the first voices that domestic violence callers hear when they reach out for help. Counselors listen to callers in order to understand their circumstances and provide the best solution possible.
On average, a hotline counselor may speak with 20 to 25 men or women each day. When someone calls the hotline, the counselors first listen to understand more about the client’s situation. Then the counselors will ask more questions and explain what services and shelter options are available at The Family Place. Most callers are seeking safe shelter and immediate basic needs, as they often leave with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Clients that are considered High Risk (HRO) or are called in by the Dallas Police Department because of a high Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) score always get immediate shelter. These cases typically involve increased risk of deadly situations.
If a client calls and our shelters are full, high risk clients are connected to a Program Director who can help with immediate needs. This might mean clients are referred to another family violence shelter or might lead The Family Place to find a hotel for the victim until we are able to get them into a shelter.
Every call touches the hearts of the hotline counselors, but some stand out more than others. One client called our hotline in a panic because her abuser had shot through the windshield of the car while she was in the passenger seat and her two-year-old daughter was in the back. The mother described how scary it was to witness someone that she thought she loved act out by shooting a gun to scare her. With the help of Tahira, one of our hotline counselors, the mother and children were able get into one of our shelters and utilize The Family Place resources to work through the trauma they experienced.
“The hotline offers emotional support and resources to help individuals with creating effective safety plans and continues to provide a stable anchor for those in the wake of such violence. Along with safe shelter and support, The Family Place is dedicated to help individuals with emotional processing and locating appropriate resources and referrals for recovery,” says Tahira.