What Happens When I Call the Helpline?
Our statewide helpline – 1-866-834-HELP – is a pass-through service that connects callers with advocates at our member Domestic Violence Resource Centers. You can also reach a local advocate directly by calling their DVRC-specific helpline number.
Depending on the time you call, your call may be answered by an on-call advocate, or it may be taken by an answering service who will coordinate a call back for you. If getting a call back is not possible or not safe for you, that is OK; the answering service will be able to patch you through to an advocate.
There is no wrong way to reach out to our member advocates. Whether you dial a DVRC directly or use the statewide helpline number, you will reach caring people who are trained to listen, support, and help you weigh your options. Our member advocates are experts in hearing callers’ concerns, planning for safety, navigating complex systems and connecting people to additional resources. They do not give advice or tell people what to do, and they have no expectation for what callers “should do” in their situation.
Calling is free and confidential, and help is available at any time, day or night.
Frequently Asked Questions about Calling a DVRC Helpline
If I call the helpline, do I need to be ready to leave my partner?
Absolutely not. Our member advocates are there to support you no matter where you are at in your experience. We know that not everyone wants to or can leave, for a whole host of reasons. Our role is not to give advice or tell you what to do. Rather, advocates want to support you in identifying what you need and want, and then figuring out the best way to move forward from there.
Can I call the helpline if I am worried about a friend/sibling/colleague/patient?
Please do! Some of the most important work our member advocates do is to help community members support the survivors in their lives. Learn more here.
Who learns about what I discuss with the helpline advocate?
Domestic violence advocates take confidentiality seriously. We know that it takes courage to reach out and share some of the most private and intimate details about your life, and honoring that courage requires a commitment to privacy. We also know that the disclosure of that information can potentially put callers at risk of serious harm. For those reasons, advocates are bound by strict federal confidentiality laws that prohibit them from sharing any identifying information about callers outside of their organization, except with specific permission.
There are very few narrow exceptions, including that advocates are mandated reporters of child abuse and abuse of an incapacitated adult. If you are concerned about the limits on advocate confidentiality, ask an advocate up front and they will be glad to discuss it specifically with you, so you can be in charge of your own information.
How does the statewide helpline work?
Our statewide number routes callers to the domestic violence resource center that corresponds with their phone number. If your number doesn’t reflect where you live, you will still reach an advocate who can offer support and link you to the appropriate resource, if necessary. You can also always reach a specific DVRC directly. That info is here.
My partner has never physically hurt me. Can I still call?
Absolutely. We hear all the time from people who thought they could not call us because what was happening for them wasn’t “bad enough.” But advocates are here for you, whether your partner is physically abusive or whether you are just trying to sort out why you feel like something is “not quite right” in the relationship.
I am in immediate danger right now! Should I call an advocate?
If your partner is posing an immediate threat to you and/or your family, please call 911, not the helpline. Advocates are not able to intervene in the way first responders can, and every minute can count in an emergency. Law enforcement is trained to connect people with advocacy services after a domestic violence assault, and we are here to help you through the aftermath of a violent episode. But in the moment of the emergency, please call 911 first.