Calling a Hotline when there are hurdles in your way

Picking up the phone to confide in a complete stranger about abuse or other major stressors you’re enduring can be intimidating. It could be even more so if you’re not sure if the person on the other end of the phone will understand where you’re coming from.
You may consider your situation unique—maybe you’re a teenager and are afraid to talk to an adult. Maybe you don’t speak English. Perhaps you’re a senior in an assisted living facility and aren’t mobile enough to get away from your abuser. Below, are some answers that address some of those challenges.
What if I don’t speak English?
Many hotlines staff bilingual advocates or offer a translation service. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) provides third-person translation in more than 240 languages—everything from Kikuyu to Zarma. Confidentiality is still guaranteed even with a translator helping out.
What if I’m a senior, or am living in an assisted living facility?
While our local domestic violence hotline (256.716.1000) can help you with support, safety planning, and services no matter what your age, there are senior-specific support services out there, too. Reach out to Adult Protective Services (256.575.6000).
What if I’m hard-of-hearing or deaf?
Deaf and hard-of-hearing folks experience abuse at a rate much higher than the hearing population and experience unique barriers to leaving abusive situations, including increased isolation, lack of understanding from police, and an increased rate of dependence on their abusive partner. So if you’re deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can call the Abused Deaf Advocacy Women’s Services via videophone at 206-812-1001 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Advocates are available 24 hours a day and will respond within 15 minutes. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also reachable at 800-787-3224 (TTY).
What if I’m a teen and I don’t think an adult is going to understand what I’m going through?
It can be difficult to open up to adults about teen stuff, especially your own parents. Still, it’s important to try and talk to someone if you’re going through childhood domestic violence (witnessing domestic violence between your parents at home) or dating violence (when your boyfriend or girlfriend is abusive, even if the abuse isn’t physical).
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has a hotline dedicated just to their teen callers, called Loveisrespect. You can reach them at 866-331-9474, text “loveis” to 22522 or chat online. (also available in Spanish)
However, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, are in danger, or are feeling suicidal, call 911 immediately.  
Listed below are hotlines, help lines, and information lines, organized by subject.  They are usually staffed 24/7 by trained crisis counselors. These national organizations can refer you to state and local services in your community.
National AIDS Hotline 800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
Al-Anon/Alateen: 888-425-2666 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday
National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center 800-784-6776
Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline 800-USA-KIDS (800-872-5437)
CyberTipline (Cyberbullying) 800-843-5678
National Suicide LIFELINE: 800-273-8255 (TALK) or text ANSWER to 839863
The Trevor Lifeline (U.S. only) 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386) LGBTQ friendly
National Mental Health Association Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255)
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) 800-959-TAPS (8277)
Boys Town National Hotline - at-risk teens and children (homeless and runaways) 800-448-3000
National Runaway Switchboard 800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)
Childhelp- USA National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network 800-656-HOPE (4673)
Rape, Sexual Assault& Incest Hotline: 212-227-3000 TDD phone number for all hotlines: 866-604-5350
National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence
GLBT National Youth Talkline  800-246-PRIDE (7743) 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST, Monday to Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday --
Stress can be difficult to deal with alone. Reach out for help!  I promise, there are compassionate people, trained in crisis counseling ready to listen to you without judgement.


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