Safe+Sound Somerset’s Hotline receives about 4,000 calls and texts a year from individuals who are in crisis, need information about domestic violence, or want to access to a S+SS service. The hotline is the first point of contact for S+SS services and information. Here is what you can expect if you decide to reach out to us.
Available for All
First, you should know that your call or text is important to us, and our staff will work very hard to connect you with services and answer your questions.
- If you are in crisis, a trained advocate will help assess your situation. If appropriate, an individualized safety plan will be created, and services available to help will be discussed. If the services we offer don’t meet your specific needs, the advocate will work to provide you appropriate community resources and referrals.
- If you are looking to access another S+SS service such as – counseling, legal advocacy, family advocacy, Financial Empowerment Center, and/or housing assistance – the hotline advocate taking your call will collect your information and submit a referral on your behalf.
- If you have questions about domestic violence, DV services or community resources, we can provide you with referrals and information.
- If you need someone to listen, we provide supportive listening.
Anyone can call our hotline. We talk with survivors of domestic violence, family members, friends, teens dealing with dating relationships, parents concerned about their teens, professionals and community partners with questions about domestic abuse or our services, and more.
If you are under 18 years of age, you can call the hotline confidentially. No parents will be notified if you call or text. However, if you want to explore using our other services, your parents will need to provide permission.
What Happens When I Call or Text?
When you call the hotline, Hotline Advocates will answer, “Hi! How can I help you?” We do not identify that we are a domestic violence hotline to safeguard your safety and confidentiality.
The Hotline Advocate who answer the calls and texts 24 hours a day, 7 day a week are specially trained. They are kind and compassionate women (primarily) and men, who are committed to helping survivors of domestic abuse and their children become and remain safe.
When calling or texting the hotline you may chose to remain anonymous. However, please know that if you are seeking services, the hotline advocate will need to collect some personal information in order to make the appropriate referral on your behalf.
We ensure complete confidentiality of all matters discussed, unless there are reports of child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or neglect, abuse or neglect of an individual with a disability, or suicidal or homicidal ideation. As with all adults in New Jersey, we are mandated reporters, meaning that we are required by law to report these cases to the appropriate authorities. Hotline staff inform callers of these confidentiality limitations at the beginning of the call for complete transparency and will also inform the caller if a report needs to be made.
If you text the hotline, you will get an automated response from Safe+Sound Somerset, explaining that we are mandated reporters and asking to verify that it’s safe to text. Once you reply “Yes,” we will be able to communicate with you further.
The advocate will then ask you a little bit about what’s going on to make sure she/he is assisting you in the best way possible. Your immediate safety is our first concern, so we assess this first. We will discuss and create a safety plan with you. Based on the information provided, we discuss services and resources available to you and provide referrals to Safe+Sound Somerset and other Somerset County providers, depending on your unique circumstances.
If you need someone to listen our staff provides supportive listening to those who need to talk through their experiences or find a starting point for moving forward. Many of those who reach out to use need to be heard but are not yet ready to make any other changes. Calling or texting our hotline for the first time is a courageous first step!
Always remember, our services are provided free of charge and in your primary/preferred language.
So, now that you are familiar with Safe+Sound Somerset’s 24/7 Call and Text Hotline, feel free to contact us any time at 866-685-1122. You can also find out more about our services at www.safe-sound.org.