If a person is in immediate danger of physical harm, they should always call 911 or their local police emergency number.
- Often survivors are looking for assistance and support without being in imminent danger. A hotline is a good resource for such instances. Hotlines are 24 hour numbers that are staffed by trained counselors. The counselors can provide emotional support, assistance with finding emergency shelter, safety planning, and information about legal options. Survivors can call anonymously and confidentially.
- Hotlines can be resources for other service providers. The trained counselors can act as consultants in domestic violence cases and assist service providers with understanding how best to help a client dealing with violence.
- Although it may be helpful initially for you to offer to contact these numbers on behalf of your client, the program staff will usually need to speak with the survivor directly in order to best assess the needs of the family or individual and to explain program requirements.
There are several hotlines in Massachusetts that specialize in domestic violence issues:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Provides safety planning, information, emotional support, and referrals to local domestic violence programs. They can assist a survivor with finding shelter nationally.
- Safelink: 1-877-785-2020 (TTY: 1-877-521-2601)
A Massachusetts-wide hotline. It provides safety planning, emotional support, and referrals to local domestic violence programs. They can also assist a survivor with finding shelter within Massachusetts.
- Local domestic violence hotlines are operated by local domestic violence programs throughout Massachusetts. See the next section for more information on this option.
- The Network for Battered Lesbians: 1 (617) 742-4911
A Massachusetts-based program specializing in the unique needs of lesbians dealing with a violent partner.
- The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Program: 1-800-832-1901
A Massachusetts-based program specializing in the unique needs of gay men dealing with a violent partner.