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Helplines for Abusive Partners? Why? (Or Why Not?)
The parallel pandemics of COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence have shattered some firmly held paradigms in the U.S. One is that people who cause harm will not seek help without a coercive mandate. This idea has been debunked through the use of telephone helplines in other countries. For instance, a New York Times article profiled the Respect Phoneline, a service for abusive partners in the U.K., which receives “around 6,000 calls, texts and web chats a year.” At the beginning of the pandemic, “phone calls went up by 200%; webchats went up by 400% and website traffic by 500%.” Countries including Sweden, Colombia, and Australia have recognized the need for helplines and financially supported them. A recent article in Ms. Magazine featuring a hotline in Israel ends with a piece of advice from the organizers: “the U.S. should create a men’s hotline. It makes men step up.”

This 90-minute roundtable will consider the pros and cons of establishing helplines for abusive partners in the U.S.; feature practitioners involved in the implementation and planning of state and national helplines; and include advocates’ perspectives on safety, accountability, and equity.

By the end of the session, participants will be better able to:

1. Explain the rationale for developing regional and national helplines for people who use violence

2. Discuss possible pitfalls and necessary safeguards for survivors when creating helplines

3. Articulate equity considerations when operating helplines

4. Describe the operational logistics and infrastructure necessary to run a successful helpline

This webinar is supported by Grant Number 90EV0532-01-00 and 90EV0524-01-00 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view shared in this webinar are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Feb 23, 2023 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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