What to expect when calling our 24-Hour Hotline

Written By: The Women’s Center’s Staff

October 9, 2020

The Women’s Center’s 24-Hour Hotline provides a critical lifeline to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Last year alone, we responded 7,170 calls – that’s almost one call an hour, every hour of every day during the year. Our trained staff and provide: 

  • an outlet for questions for survivors and their family and friends as well as community members 
  • safety planning 
  • connection to our Advocates and other internal programs 
  • screening for shelter 
  • referrals 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 equipped 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. 

How you can help:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, domestic violence has increased across the community, state, and country. The social distancing and isolation required to limit the outbreak put those experiencing domestic and sexual violence at greater danger, as many were trapped at home with their abuser. This also made it much harder for victims to call our 24-Hour Hotline and reach out for help. (Read more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected survivors here.)

Now that more people are returning to work and school, there may be more opportunities to reach out for help, so we want to make sure that anyone who has experienced or continues to experience violence knows how to reach us to be connected to our life-saving and life-changing services.

The community’s help in sharing our 24-Hour Hotline number lets survivors in all walks of life know they are not alone and there is somewhere to turn. Below is sample text and a graphic that you can use to post on social media, include in a company e-newsletter, or add to a church bulletin:

  • I am partnering with The Women’s Center to share information during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). If you or someone you know needs help or has questions, call their 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828 or visit their website at www.twcwaukesha.org to learn about their programs. [Download “24-Hour Hotline” graphic here]
  • 20 people are victims of physical violence every minute in the United States. I stand with survivors and support the mission of The Women’s Center. Find out how you can get involved during Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), and with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men having experienced intimate partner violence, everyone knows someone who has been affected. If someone shares their experience with you, it’s hard to know what to say – I learned from @The Women’s Center that the key is to listen without judgment, believe them, and offer support. If you have any questions or need help, you can call The Women’s Center’s 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828. [Download “How to Support a Survivor” graphic here]
  • If you or someone you know has been impacted by domestic violence, The Women’s Center support to all genders, ages, and backgrounds. They will listen to you without judgment, believe you, and offer support. To get connected, call their 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828 or visit their website at www.twcwaukesha.org to learn about their programs. [Download “How to Support a Survivor” graphic here]

More ways to help:
For more ways you can help, sign up to receive FREE virtual toolkits throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month here (no it’s not too late!).