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What to Expect When You Call Safeline’s Hotline

1-800-639-7233: our hotline is here to make our advocates more accessible—so that you can talk to an advocate at any time of day. However, we know that it takes a lot of courage for survivors to reach out. To take away a bit of the mystery, here is what you can expect when you call our hotline number.

You Will Speak With An Advocate

When you call Safeline, you will get to speak with a trained, confidential advocate. Our hotline (1-800-639-7233) is staffed 24/7 and so there is always an advocate available. Our office hours are 8:30am-4:00pm Monday through Friday, and during that time you are most likely to speak with a staff member. While we’re in the office, we often have increased flexibility and access to area resources. After office hours, the call will be routed through our answering service. The service will ask you for your name, callback number, and your reason for calling. The service will then contact our advocate on-call, who will give you a call back if it is safe for you.

We Will Ask If You Are Safe

It is important to ensure that you are safe when calling our hotline. If you are in an emergency situation, then we recommend calling 911 or the police for immediate emergency relief. On the hotline, we are here to talk you through next steps and understand how we can support. We will ask to ensure that you are safe to talk to us. If you are not safe, we might try to understand what might be safer circumstances to contact us. We also want to ensure that after-hours it is safe to call you back and leave a message. If it is not safe to call you back, the answering service may be able to patch you through to an advocate without you hanging up. In the case that your call drops or we need to contact you, we’ll also ask if it is safe to call you back and leave a message. If you need to, you can always hang up the call.

We Will Listen

Our advocates are here for you. We will listen to you and do what we can to support you. If you just want to talk to someone and have them really listen to your experiences as a survivor, then give Safeline a call. It is perfectly fine to call Safeline if you are in a particularly difficult state of mind and just would like to have someone else to talk to. However, we are not therapists. We may offer to refer you to a counselor if that seems like something that you feel would benefit you. We will never share your name or any identifying information without your permission.

You Are The Expert

Every survivor’s story is unique. There is no one story of domestic violence. Some abusers use physical violence, while others are more manipulative. We know that every decision of yours is the result of your specific history and so we are not here to tell you how you should feel or what you should do. Something like a Relief from Abuse Order (RFA) might be a viable part of one survivor’s safety plan, but another survivor might be wary that an RFA would just make the abuse worse. In addition, due to the multifaceted and intersectional nature of abuse, survivors can have vastly different experiences based on the identities that they hold. In this way, you are the expert of your own story and we will treat you like the expert that you are.

We Will Offer Options

Instead of telling you what you should do, we will offer a series of options. Some survivors know exactly what resources they need, whereas others would like to talk through options. If you say that you are looking for housing, for example, we may ask if there is anyone that you can stay with temporarily. If not, we might ask if you would be interested in temporary housing in a shelter, and continue from there. Every year we are learning about new tactics of abuse which abusers utilize, as well as new resources for survivors.

We Can Connect You

It can be confusing to navigate the web of resources and social services in the area. At Safeline, we’re familiar with many of these services and may be able to offer information on which resources may be a good fit given your specific situation. We have collected information on a variety of organizations and programs, which we are happy to connect you with.

We Will Ask Some General Questions

We will ask you some general questions such as what town you live in, whether you have children, and how old you are in order to provide the best information we can for your specific circumstances. We will also ask you general demographic information such as your gender, race, and socioeconomic status, which we anonymize and condense as required for certain grants. All information about you is kept confidential, and you can decline to share any information that you choose. We may also ask you a couple questions to gather feedback on how we can improve in the future.

You Can Call Again

You are always welcome to call back again in the future. We know that there are not easy solutions to extricating yourself from domestic violence. The specific journey you take as a survivor may have unexpected twists and turns. We can continue to support you in the future. If it is more convenient, you are also welcome to email us at safelineinfo@safelinevt.org

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