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New Sexual Assault Hotline Launches in Arlington

by Ethan Rothstein April 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Doorways for Women and FamiliesVictims of sexual assault in Arlington have a new number to call for support when they are most vulnerable.

Doorways for Women and Families, a nonprofit designed to support women and children who suffer from domestic violence and homelessness, launched the hotline to pair with its 37-year-old, 24-hour domestic violence hotline.

The hotline’s number is 703-237-0881.

Like the domestic violence hotline, victims can call in and Doorways partners with Arlington County to provide resources, such as shelter or police support.

“We’re pleased to partner with Doorways for Women and Families on this important resource for our community,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a press release. “Doorways’ track record with the domestic violence hotline has been outstanding, providing victims with expert advice and linkages to needed services. By expanding hotline services to include sexual assault, we will again tap into Doorways’ expertise and knowledge to quickly and effectively link people to vital community services and resources.”

The hotline will pair Doorways with the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Human Services. Among the services provided will be Commonwealth’s Attorney accompaniment during hospitalization for victims — a frequently traumatic event, Doorways said.

“We will play an important role in our community’s response, but it is one of many,” Doorways Executive Director Caroline Jones said. “Now is the right time to intentionally define our community’s coordinated response as we are seeing record numbers of people reaching out for our help — realizing they no longer have to face these issues in silence and shame.”

The full press release announcing the new hotline can be read after the jump.

ARLINGTON, VA. – After 37 years of providing Arlington residents with a 24-hour hotline and emergency response for domestic violence, Doorways for Women and Families is expanding to offer these services to survivors of sexual assault in our community.

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive, single emergency response for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and after conducting a thorough selection process, Arlington County has chosen to partner with Doorways for Women and Families to provide this much needed community response.

“We’re pleased to partner with Doorways for Women and Families on this important resource for our community,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Doorways’ track record with the domestic violence hotline has been outstanding, providing victims with expert advice and linkages to needed services. By expanding hotline services to include sexual assault, we will again tap into Doorways’ expertise and knowledge to quickly and effectively link people to vital community services and resources.”

Doorways has operated Arlington’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline and Safehouse for nearly four decades. “While sexual assault and domestic violence are unique in many ways, survivors of these experiences share the need for a timely, well informed response. Access to police and legal assistance, medical assistance, counseling, safety planning and education, advocacy and accompaniment, and safe shelter are critical elements in helping survivors move forward. Getting to all of these begins with a call for help- a call that must be answered quickly and at any time of day or night.” Caroline Jones, Doorways’ Executive Director.

Beyond the 24-hour hotline response for survivors, Doorways will be partnering with the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to provide hospital accompaniment for survivors. “Going through a sexual assault exam can be extremely traumatic. Our staff and volunteers are trained to provide women and men in these difficult circumstances with counseling, compassion and referrals to our community partners who share in this response.” Claudia Zaborsky, Doorways’ Domestic & Sexual Violence Program Director.

This new, comprehensive hotline unites many agencies working to care for people impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Doorways will proudly partners with the Arlington County Department of Human Services – Violence Intervention Program, Arlington’s Victim Witness Department and Arlington Police and Sheriff’s Departments.

“We will play an important role in our community’s response, but it is one of many. Now is the right time to intentionally define our community’s coordinated response as we are seeing record numbers of people reaching out for our help – realizing they no longer have to face these issues in silence and shame.” Caroline Jones, Doorways Executive Director.

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