Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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Attorney General Abbott Honors National Domestic Violence Hotline For Milestone Two-Millionth Call

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) Chief Executive Officer Sheryl Cates today observed Domestic Violence Awareness Month by recognizing NDVH for fielding its two-millionth telephone call.

NDVH was created by Congress when it passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. The organization launched operations in Austin in 1996. Since then, NDVH has received more than 19,500 calls per month from domestic violence victims, survivors, friends and family members, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates and the general public. More than 1,700 NDVH calls per month come from Texans seeking help from an abusive relationship. The Lone Star State ranks third in NDVH call volume. California and Florida constitute the highest number of NDVH calls, with New York and Pennsylvania rounding out the top five.

Media links

View Video of
News Conference

Watch video of hotline staff and
hear from a domestic violence survivor

“Today we observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month by recognizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s life-saving efforts,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Thanks to NDVH’s trained victim advocates, domestic violence victims receive crucial safety planning information and crisis intervention that helps them leave abusive relationships and rebuild their lives. The Office of the Attorney General and the Texas Council on Family Violence are committed to an ongoing partnership that serves crime victims and works tirelessly to prevent domestic violence.”

“The hotline has proved to be a critical lifeline to many individuals across the country, positively impacting millions of our fellow citizens and saving countless lives,” Cates said. “The current challenging economic conditions and resulting impact on organizations like NDVH, makes the strong support of the Attorney General and our friends that much more important and appreciated.”

NDVH’s trained advocates, some of whom are domestic violence survivors themselves, provide callers with crucial crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hotline staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provide assistance in English and Spanish. More than 140 languages are available through interpreter services. All hotline calls are anonymous and confidential.

Josie, a domestic violence survivor who now answers hotline calls, added: “They’ve lost all hope, and so they call the hotline. Whether it is the first call for help or the last call, they don’t know where else to go.”

Grant funding to victim advocacy organizations is provided through the state Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, which is managed by the Office of the Attorney General. Following a formal application and review process, grants are awarded statewide for services such as grief counseling, shelters for abuse victims, and to advocate for victims of violent crime.

In addition to the crime victim assistance grants, last fiscal year the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Division provided more than $66 million directly to crime victims. These resources help victims pay for medical and out-of-pocket emergency expenses, as well as other costs associated with the crimes committed against them.

More information about the Crime Victim Services Division is available by calling (800) 252-8011 or by visiting the Attorney General’s Web site: www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.