Lifewire: What the increase in calls means for the helpline

Lifewire, a hotline that acts as an outlet for people dealing with domestically-violent homes, has been receiving more calls than usual as of late. Samantha Tripoli, communications and events specialist at Lifewire, confirmed that since 2015 the hotline has received an increase in calls by about 30 percent. As to why, she said, “We really can’t point to a single reason as to why. It’s hard to know whether there is more violence occurring, or whether survivors are becoming more aware of the resources offered to them in their communities.” Even the massive social media “Me Too” movement cannot be credited as the sole source of the influx.
“What we’ve seen is when Lifewire is covered in the media, for example on television or radio, we do see a momentary spike in calls to our help line immediately following those segments,” Tripoli was able to say is the only direct correlation they have noticed. This could be a factor as of now, considering Lifewire was listed as MyNorthwest’s Charity of the Month for October this year. In addition to that, Lifewire collaborated with Bellevue College to coordinate guest lectures as early as December of last year, according to the Bellevue Reporter.
Another possible correlation, Tripoli notes, could be the result of increased housing prices in King County. Stating an observation that indicates an increase in social service needs in King County, she stated that “as housing prices skyrocket across King County, more survivors are in need of affordable housing. Oftentimes, we see survivors needing more assistance in accessing resources through government agencies or accessing safe, stable and affordable housing in this market.” The Seattle Times released an article in early October that showed that the average price for housing in King County from 2016 to 2017 had increased from $538,000 to $625,000.
Lifewire is an organization that exists to advocate for domestic violence survivors, prevent family homelessness and mobilize social change. According to their official website, their mission is to “end domestic violence and create a world where every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive.” Their 24-hour hotline has been a resource for many people with varying problems related to domestic violence. Tripoli notes some of these issues being “people asking questions about their relationships, wondering if indeed they are in an abusive relationship” or “phone calls from family members, friends and other social service providers wanting to know how to support survivors they know in their personal or professional lives.”
Lifewire will also receive calls from survivors seeking to talk to someone who will believe them and validate their experience, the reasoning Tripoli states as domestic violence being an isolating experience. Lifewire will also provide resources to those seeking resources related to housing, legal and mental health support. Tripoli stated that “survivors will often want to know information about what legal protections are available to them in keeping themselves and their children safe, as well as information about how to navigate the complex legal system in the U.S.” Lifewire encourages anybody going through abuse to seek them out and remind survivors to remember that “they are not alone, it is not their fault and they deserve a healthy and happy relationship.”