Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and Dean & St. Mary’s announced Thursday the launch of Dane County’s first domestic violence Texting Help Line, which is geared toward helping teens who have experienced dating violence.
By texting “HOPE” to 20121, victims, survivors and anyone in need can access confidential support and guidance in safety planning, as well as to access other services, according to a DAIS and Dean & St. Mary’s press release.
According to DAIS, the Texting Help Line is a needed measure because of the low numbers of teens seeking help through call lines and face-to-face programs. Only two teens used DAIS’s in-person program between January 2014 and February 2015.
“The Texting Help Line is one more support option for teens and we hope that having the ability to text rather than making a phone call will be more comfortable for some teens,” Dean Clinic President and CEO Stew Watson said in the release.
DAIS estimates nearly one in three teens who have been in a relationship have experienced dating violence, and roughly 1.5 million high school students per year experience physical violence from an intimate partner.