Sojourner's Crisis Line: 24/7 Advocacy, Safety Planning and Resources
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Sojourner’s 24/7 Crisis Line is an essential element of our advocacy and support services for victims of domestic violence. But what does “crisis line” actually mean? Housed at Sojourner Shelter, the crisis line serves many functions and was utilized over 3,000 times in 2017. We know that domestic violence doesn't only happen from 9-5pm and thus the line is answered 365 days a year, at any time of day or night. A phone advocate can provide:
Crisis Counseling: Oftentimes a trained, calm and compassionate person on the other side of the call is the most helpful intervention people can find. Knowing that you aren’t alone and that help is available can be a great source of hope and support.
Information: Callers may ask, 'Is what is happening in my or my friend/family member’s relationship normal? How do I talk with someone I’m concerned about? What is considered abuse?' Our advocates can help guide callers through their concerns and educate them on how to approach those they love. Advocates also answer questions and and address concerns about coming into shelter so that callers can make the best decisions for their families and selves.
Referrals to Community Resources: Domestic violence doesn't happen in a vacuum and callers may be looking for mental health resources, child care options, housing resources, substance abuse programming or access to Sojourner’s legal advocates.
Safety Assessment and Planning: The reality is, most people who experience domestic violence do not choose to come into shelter. Research demonstrates the most dangerous time for a victim is when the decision to leave an abusive situation is made. With this in mind, safety assessment and planning is of the utmost importance for callers. Phone advocates ask questions to assess levels of danger and provide options. Some examples of safety planning include gathering important documents, storing money/items with trusted family or friends, knowing the safest exit from a home and teaching children how to dial 911. Advocates may also do an initial screening for space at Sojourner Shelter as part of the caller's safety plan if appropriate.
Sojourner's crisis line is answered by our advocates as well as our trained crisis line volunteers. Volunteers take a 2 hour shift each week or every other week and are never without an advocate nearby. If you're interested in learning how you can be involved in this important work, contact Laura@SojournerProject.org. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call our crisis line at 952-933-7422.