What Happens When I Call the Helpline?
Our statewide helpline, 1-866-834-HELP, 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. Calling is free and confidential. Help is available at any time, day or night.
When you call the statewide helpline, your call will be answered 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 okay. 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. They have no expectation for what callers “should do” in their situation.
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 help you identify what you need and want and then figure out the best way to move forward from there.
Can I call the helpline if I’m worried about a friend, sibling, colleague, or 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, intimate details about your life. 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 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 the abuse of incapacitated adults. If you are concerned about the limits on advocate confidentiality, ask an advocate upfront. They will be glad to discuss it specifically with you to be in charge of your own information.
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.” Advocates are here for you, whether your partner is physically abusive or you are just trying to sort out why you feel like something is “not quite right” in your relationship.
I’m in immediate danger right now! Should I call an advocate?
If your partner is posing an immediate threat to you or your family, please call 911, not the helpline. Advocates are not able to intervene in the way first responders can. Every minute can count in an emergency.
Law enforcement is trained to connect people with advocacy services after a domestic violence assault. We are here to help you through the aftermath of a violent episode. But at the moment of the emergency, please call 911 first.