Advocates of Change: A Spotlight on Domestic Violence Advocates

By Olivia Pikul

Finding resources as a victim of domestic violence can be extremely intimidating; shelters are often at full capacity and opening up about your experiences or admitting that you’re in danger can be scary. Hotline advocates can be the determining factor between whether a victim of domestic violence leaves the situation or stays. Hotline advocates exist to make the process smoother and link victims to the resources they need to make a safe escape. 

Each month the National Domestic Violence Hotline receives more than 24,000 calls – that equates to over 288,000 cries for help each year to this hotline alone. At the time of the call, the advocate assists with crisis intervention, develops an immediate plan of action and refers victims to local shelters. To receive assistance and resources, please do not hesitate to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

While hotlines are an extremely important tool to gain access to necessary resources, the process of escaping can feel isolating. Emotions run high and often feel very conflicting. This is why Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence offers a survivor-run hotline. By choosing advocates who have survived domestic violence, calling our helpline offers hope to victims as they’re able to speak with someone who has shared and similar experiences to their own. The helpline emphasizes providing support and validating all emotions that the victim is experiencing. The BTSADV helpline is in place to provide victims with a friend who has similar experiences and can act as a soundboard to listen with empathy. Being heard is a powerful tool in times of need. 

Helpline advocates play a key role in who BTSADV is as an organization. BTSADV strives to provide emotional support and resources, which can be hard to find in times of need. BTSADV would not be able to have such a large impact without our courageous survivors who dedicate their time to share their strength by being an advocate for others. If you wish to speak with one of our advocates, please call 855-287-1777 during the hours posted below. 

Honoring Our Advocates

Advocates work tirelessly to help victims and survivors navigate their safety, but there are few opportunities to recognize them for everything they do. This year, BTSADV wants to recognize the advocates in your community. Whether you spoke to an advocate on our helpline or received court accompaniment in your hometown, you have the opportunity to nominate someone for our 2020 Advocate of Change award. Winners will be announced at our 2020 Evening of Hope Gala. 

The deadline for submitting a nomination is March 1, 2020. 

Every advocate is a changemaker. This is your opportunity to thank them for all the work they do.

Survivor Helpline Hours:

  • Monday  – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  • Thursday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  •  Friday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.

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