METROWEEKLY reports on a partnership between the D.C. Office of Victim Services (OVS), Helping Individual People Survive (HIPS) and Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) to establish a 24 hour crisis hotline for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community:
Cyndee Clay, the executive director of HIPS, says the current 24-hour hotline geared toward victims of violence came about after The DC Center applied for a grant through OVS.
“The DC Center actually approached us, and let everyone know they were potentially going to apply for a grant,” Clay says. “And so we approached them and said, ‘Hey, we’ve run a hotline, we’ve run a crisis line, we’ve run crisis intervention. We’ve got the institutional knowledge to handle this. You guys can handle the rollout. We can train our volunteers to deal with not just sex worker and drug user issues, but crises and people who have been victims of violence.’”
From those initial conversations sprang the new partnership between the DC Center and HIPS. The hotline, which is manned by HIPS staff or trained volunteers, is intended to provide a confidential, affirming resource for LGBTQ people suffering from bias-motivated attacks, domestic or intimate partner violence, or anti-immigrant violence. It also refers them to the appropriate direct service agencies that are tasked to deal with the effects of the trauma they have experienced, which can range from one-on-one counseling to finding shelter for the victim.
The number for the The LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline is 202-888-7222.