HealthDay News — The U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline had its busiest year ever in 2018, receiving 573,670 calls, texts, and online chats, a 36 percent increase from 2017.
Factors in the rise include increased awareness due to the #MeToo movement that began 2017, and allegations of domestic violence against high-profile people such as R&B singer R. Kelly and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones told NBC News. Both men have denied the allegations.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that there’s more domestic violence happening,” Ray-Jones told NBC News. “I think what is happening is, there’s a lot of discourse around the complexities around domestic violence now.”
Since 1996, the hotline has provided 24-hour, year-round support for people affected by domestic violence. In 2018, 88 percent of people who contacted the hotline reported some form of emotional and verbal abuse; 60 percent said they were victims of physical abuse; 24 percent said they were experiencing financial abuse; 15 percent reported digital abuse such as constant texting, GPS stalking, and unauthorized home surveillance; and 11 percent said they were victims of sexual abuse, NBC News reported.