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The Office on Domestic Violence continues to house and oversee the operation of the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line. The Help Line is a 24-hour, toll-free confidential number that functions as a clearinghouse for domestic violence services and information.
The Help Line is used by:
Established in 1998, Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence contracts with the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Womens Network to operate the Help Line. Callers to the Help Line are provided with general domestic violence information, referrals to appropriate domestic violence services and a three-way phone linkage between the caller and the domestic violence services. Trained domestic violence advocates – Victim Information and Referral Advocates (VIRAs) – staff the phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. VIRAs provide victims with immediate information about their options, information on safety planning, referrals to community based providers including:
Bi-lingual and bi-cultural Spanish speaking VIRAs are always available and operators can access the Language Line (formerly the AT & T Language Bank) for over 140 other languages. A TTY is available for speech and hearing impaired callers. The Help Line's database consists of over 170 local domestic violence resources, and counselors are able to navigate these various services to identify and link callers to the most appropriate and accessible program. The Help Line provides immediate information and direct links to community-based resources to almost 3,000 callers a month.
The Office on Domestic Violence is responsible for general oversight of the Help Line and for the dissemination of findings related to the data collected by the Help Line. Based on analysis of calls into the Help Line a variety of reports are printed including the yearly release of the "ZIP Code Profiles: Victim Callers" and the "Highlights" based on victim callers into the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line. After seven years of operation we are updating the computer hardware and upgrading the database operation to enhance the Help Line's computerized operation.
To view help line reports, click on the following link: Help Line Reports