Crisis Center North invites domestic violence victims to text and chat if it’s not safe to call for help
Crisis Center North recently launched a new text message/online chat service so victims of domestic violence can discreetly and quickly connect with an expert to ask for help and support. This service can be a lifeline when a call to the agency’s 24/7 helpline is not an option.
Many domestic violence programs are worried about the worldwide increase in violence and abuse. They also know that as people shelter in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, domestic violence victims can be trapped in their homes with an abusive partner who further isolates them from family and friends.
In Pittsburgh’s North Hills community, domestic violence calls to the Northern Regional Police Department have increased at an alarming rate – up 62% from February to March, and calls through mid-April have already surpassed March. The department serves 35,000 residents in the municipalities of Bradford Woods, Marshall, Pine, and Richland Townships.
“This is a dramatic spike in just a few weeks,” says Kristy Trautmann, executive director of the FISA Foundation. “Calls to the police may have increased, but an ever-present abuser can make it difficult for a victim to reach out for support, safety planning and counseling.”
Crisis Center North, one of four domestic violence agencies in Allegheny County, offers a range of free and confidential services to assist those experiencing verbal, emotional, physical, and financial abuse. Victims can access resources, support, and information in a way that is safest for them.
“Crisis Center North has always offered support for domestic violence victims 24/7 on our hotline. Now, we have a new innovative tool for those who can’t access their phone due to sheltering in place,” said Grace Coleman, executive director of Crisis Center North. “Imagine being confined in your home with your perpetrator during this pandemic. It may be far easier to do a quick text without drawing your abuser’s attention to it. Speaking with an advocate through chat on their phone or computer can also be a safer and more comfortable way of telling your story.”
How to get help:
Crisis Center North
To access an advocate (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Text (SMS): 412-444-7660
Hotline Number: 412-364-5556 (24 hours)
Toll Free Number: 1-866-782-0911
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
For a list of agencies serving the 10-county region, visit: https://southwestpasaysnomore.org/help/