24-Hour Hotline Overview

Written By: The Women’s Center staff

April 1, 2020

The Women’s Center has responded to thousands of calls to our 24-Hour Hotline since our founding in 1977. Today more than ever, our 24-Hour Hotline provides a critical lifeline to victims of domestic and sexual violence, providing:

  • an outlet for questions,
  • safety planning,
  • connection to our counselors, advocates and other internal programs
  • screening for shelter,
  • referral to external community resources, like medical or dental care, and
  • simply someone to listen, provide support, and let them know they are not alone.

In addition to responding to calls directly from survivors, our 24-Hour Hotline also acts as a conduit for other community agencies to connect victims with The Women’s Center:

  • Law enforcement throughout Waukesha County call the 24-Hour Hotline if they have responded to a situation involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or trafficking to connect the victim with our advocates, who then can provide support, resources and advocacy immediately.  
  • Hospitals call the Hotline to coordinate advocacy for rape victims awaiting a sexual assault nurse examination.
    • Staff or On Call Advocate volunteers respond, arriving to the hospital within 30 minutes of the call, providing the survivor with support and information about services available at The Women’s Center.

Our compassionate staff are trained to help with any question and ensure the confidentiality of each caller. The Hotline rings on multiple phones, so there is always someone available to answer a call. There is even an automatic process that kicks in if there is a power outage, immediately transferring the Hotline to a cell phone so we can continue receiving calls, uninterrupted.

As we are all adjusting to Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order, victims of violence are adjusting to the greater danger they now face. Isolated with their abuser, many feel more trapped than ever before. Knowing that our 24-Hour Hotline is available any time of night or day could mean the difference for them finding a safe place to go.

The community’s help to share our 24-Hour Hotline number helps survivors in all walks of life know they are not alone and there is somewhere to turn. Consider sharing our social media posts to EmPower Survivors or displaying our information in a lobby or waiting room. Visit our EmPower Survivors page for digital resources or contact us at 262.522.3813 with questions.