In response to the alarming rates of teen dating abuse through technology and the severe knowledge gap between parents and their teens, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) and Liz Claiborne Inc. joined together to launch loveisrespect.org, The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NTDAH). This 24-hour national web-based and telephone resource was created to help teens (ages 13-18) experiencing dating abuse and is the only helpline in the country serving all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Although there are national hotlines for adults, teens have special needs and require specific expertise, information and communication mechanisms for overcoming dating violence. Cumulative research from the NDVH indicates that 10 percent of the 17,000 calls answered monthly at the Hotline are from teenagers and young adults.
The first of its kind, NTDAH will operate via telephone and Web 24 hours a day and will be staffed by both teen and adult advocates. Teens (and parents) anywhere in the country can call toll free, 866-331-9474 or log on to the interactive Web site, loveisrespect.org, and receive immediate, confidential assistance. The site will offer secure, live interactive chat to teens, which will present them with a familiar technology and an accessible means for communication. While online or on the phone, teens will be given support as well as referrals to local resources in their hometown to provide them with the help they need.
· Hours of Operation: NTDAH will be staffed by trained volunteer and professional advocates 24 hours a day. Teenage peer advocates will staff the helpline and Web site during a block of time each day.
· Web site: NTDAH offers a live, interactive Web site -- loveisrespect.org - to provide a safe, confidential online resource for teens to ask questions, share experiences or express their feelings. The site features live interactive, instant chat with advocates. There will also be message boards, blogs as well as other valuable information to help teens cope with and understand healthy dating behavior and relationships.
· Phone number: 866.331.9474(866-331-8453 for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing)
· Staffing: Trained peer volunteers between the ages of 16-24 will provide advocacy during the peak hours of noon-2:00 a.m. (4:00 p.m. to midnight from February-May 2007). Trained adult advocates will provide assistance to peer advocates as well as overflow assistance and staffing during off-peak hours.
· Training: All volunteers have received more than 40 hours of training from current NDVH supervisory staff, survivors of teen violence and other experts in the field. Additionally, advocates will receive ongoing advanced training for issues related to violence to further assist teens in dealing with relationships.
· Confidentiality: NTDAH will not collect or maintain data that will compromise confidentiality such as IP addresses or caller ID. NTDAH will make all efforts to ensure that information is anonymous and confidential including training of staff to assure that privacy is of utmost concern.