Purpose The George Washington University is evaluating the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and loveisrespect (LIR), the helpline targeted towards young people. An aim of the evaluation is to determine whether those who call The Hotline/LIR receive the information and assistance they need or seek.
Methods/Approach During a 5 week period in the summer of 2016, the research team monitored 504 anonymous calls made to The Hotline and LIR to assess the process and quality of the interactions between advocate and caller, and to examine details related to the provision of information and referrals to other service providers and resources. Using a scoring tool developed for this purpose, the research team evaluated and documented caller needs; information and resources provided to the caller; and the helpfulness of each call.
Results The majority of the calls monitored were to The Hotline (n=459, 91.1%) and were from two caller types: victims/survivors (n=272; 60%) and family/friends of victims/survivors (n=71; 15%). Overall, advocates provided services at higher rates than those requested by callers. For example, among the two main caller types, 52% of callers requested emotional support, and received this support from advocates. Advocates also provided emotional support to an additional 30%, even though they did not request it explicitly. Likewise, 41% and 7% of callers asked for information on resources and on staying safe, respectively. Advocates provided resource information to 79% of callers and information on staying safe to 32% of callers.
Conclusion The data demonstrate that advocates are providing important services to callers, including information and education, safety planning, and emotional support.
Significance/Contribution The data can be used by domestic violence service providers, program developers, researchers and technical assistance providers to identify the breadth of resources provided by The Hotline/LIR, the services most frequently provided, and to whom the services are offered.