Tag Archives: hotline

Unprecedented number of LGBT youth crisis calls reported after election

Contacts to The Trevor Project’s crisis services programs — by phone, chat and text — reached unprecedented levels in the days following the election.

At the Trevor Project, the nation’s only accredited suicide prevention program for LGBTQ youth under 25, young people are heard from every day.

But the volume surged 116 percent in the two days after election and the organization heard from person after person about fears and anxieties about the election results, which are sending Donald Trump to the Oval Office and Indiana’s Mike Pence, famous nationally for his anti-gay beliefs and policies, to the vice president’s office.

Among the topics raised by LGBTQ youth are worries that:

• Their rights will be taken away.

• They might be forced into conversion therapy.

• They could lose their health care, and more.

Several youth reported concerns about their safety and new reluctance about coming out.

Anxieties like these have been shown to contribute towards increased thoughts about suicide.

“The Trevor Project was prepared for an increase in crisis contacts following the election, but the amount we received was unprecedented.  The level of anxiety young people are expressing since the election is at an all-time high,” said Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of the organization.  “But knowing that we are here 24/7, to listen to and save the lives of LGBTQ youth, many of whom have no other place to turn, reminds us of the importance and necessity of The Trevor Project.”

Land continued, “The Trevor Project is determined to work diligently to lead the new Administration and Congress towards policies and laws that are supportive of LGBTQ people and their mental health.  We will be at the table with our LGBTQ peer organizations and our partners fighting violence, deportations, police profiling, and other intersecting issues, providing guidance and support to lawmakers and agencies so that the youth of our great nation will be safe and will continue to thrive.


On the web …

For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.

43 cases of human trafficking reported in Wisconsin in 2014

Forty-three cases of human trafficking in Wisconsin were reported in 2014 to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.

That number includes 38 cases of sex trafficking and three cases of labor trafficking, according to data released by the NHTRC and Polaris, a national leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery.

Since 2007, the center has received reports of 148 cases of human trafficking in Wisconsin.

From across the United States, the center received reports of 5,167 cases of human trafficking in 2014. The reports were made to the hotline and also to Polaris’ BeFree texting helpline at 233733. The report said calls went up 26 percent in 2014 from 2013.

Since 2007, there have been 19,724 cases of human trafficking in the United States called in or texted to the helplines.

“Human trafficking hotlines are a lifeline for survivors so they can stay safe and get connected with help and services,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. “Behind the data are the stories of thousands of women, men and children in each and every state who were exploited against their will.”

Data from the center:

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

• 5,042 cases of human trafficking reported in the United states. Of those cases:

• 3,598 (71%) were sex trafficking.

• 818 (16%) were labor trafficking.

• 172 (4%) were sex and labor trafficking.

• 454 (9%) were cases where the trafficking type was not specified.

• A total of 24,062 substantive signals were received from the U.S.

Polaris BeFree Texting Helpline

• 125 cases of human trafficking reported in the United States. Of those cases:

• 99 (79%) were sex trafficking.

• 10 (8%) were labor trafficking.

• 2 (2%) were sex and labor trafficking.

• 14 (11%) were cases where the trafficking type was not specified.

• A total of 1,279 texting conversations were received in the U.S.

The top three sex trafficking venues in the United States are commercial front brothels, Internet ad-based trafficking and sex trafficking occurring at hotels and motels.

The top three labor trafficking industries in the United States based on the data are domestic work, traveling sales crews and the restaurant and food service industry.

In Wisconsin, the data shows the top venues for sex trafficking to be pornography, escort services, street-based, hotel/motel-based and nightclub-based.

In Wisconsin, the cases involved 38 females and six males; 28 adults and eighteen minors, 25 citizens and four foreign nationals.

Polaris emphasizes the data are not intended to represent the full scope of human trafficking.

Polaris also notes that the greater percentage of sex trafficking cases reported is largely due to greater awareness of the issue, and much less awareness about labor trafficking in the U.S. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, with 14.2 million (68%) of those victims of labor exploitation.

For help…

Polaris also notes that the greater percentage of sex trafficking cases reported is largely due to greater awareness of the issue, and much less awareness about labor trafficking in the U.S. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, with 14.2 million (68%) of those victims of labor exploitation.


Crisis hotlines turning to text to reach teens

They stream in from teens around the United States, cries for help often sent in by text message.

“I feel like committing suicide,” one text read. “What’s the suicide hotline number?” Another asked: “How do you tell a friend they need to go to rehab?”

DoSomething.org, an organization that encourages activism among young adults, gets plenty of text messages asking for help, but it isn’t a hotline. So the nonprofit’s CEO, Nancy Lublin, is leading an effort to establish an around-the-clock text number across trigger issues for teens in the hope that it will become their emergency line, perhaps reaching those who wouldn’t otherwise seek help using more established methods of telephone talking or computer-based chat.

“Most of the texts we get like this are about things like being bullied,” Lublin said. “A lot of things are about relationships, so we’ll get texts from kids about breakups, or ‘I like a boy, what should I do?’ But the worst one we ever got said, ‘He won’t stop raping me. It’s my dad. He told me not to tell anyone. Are you there?’”

Lublin hopes the Crisis Text Line, due to launch in August, will serve as a New York-based network, shuttling texts for help to partner organizations around the country, such as The Trevor Project for gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth or other groups already providing hotlines on dating and sexual abuse to bullying, depression and eating disorders.

As more teens have gone mobile, using their phones as an extension of themselves, hotline providers have tried to keep up. Fewer seem to operate today than in decades past. A smattering reach out through mobile text, including Teen Line in Los Angeles, though that service and others offer limited schedules or specialize in narrow areas of concern when multiple problems might be driving a teen to the brink.

Some text providers operate in specific places or rely on trained teen volunteers to handle the load across modes of communication. Several agreed that text messaging enhances call-in and chat options for a generation of young people who prefer to communicate by typing on their phones, especially when they don’t want parents, teachers, friends or boyfriends to listen in.

Katie Locke, 26, in Philadelphia was one of those teens in 2006, when she found herself in a suicidal panic after a fight with an old friend.

At 18, she said she grabbed her phone, left her college dorm room and headed out in the cold to sit on a bench to talk with a worker on a crisis phone line she knew from one of her favorite blogs. The number was the only one she had handy and it didn’t offer text, which she would have preferred.

“People don’t always have the (mobile phone) minutes or aren’t in a position where they can speak aloud if they’re in danger from somebody around them,” Locke said. “I know for me there were other times when I probably should have called a crisis hotline and didn’t because of the anxiety about calling. That was such an enormous barrier, to have to dial a phone number.”

Brian Pinero, director of the National Dating Abuse Helpline run by a nonprofit called Love is Respect, knows that lesson well.

The organization launched phone and computer-based chat in 2007, and chat quickly grew to the more heavily used method of contact. The Austin, Texas-based group launched text in 2011 and it’s now about 20 percent of the operation, Pinero said.

According to research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, one in four teens is a “cell-mostly” Internet user. Texting among teens increased from about 50 texts a day in 2009 to about 60, with the number running into hundreds for some.

“Phone calls are not the way young people express themselves,” said Danah Boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research and an assistant professor of media, culture and communication at New York University.

Comparisons of text hotline volume and efficiency are hard to come by. Researcher Deb Levine, executive director and founder of the nonprofit ISIS, for Internet Sexuality Information Services, said it’s clear the number of hotlines of all kinds has declined significantly since a heyday in the 1980s.

But chat and text help have been on the rise for more than two years, she said. Most are small-scale operations serving specific communities, said Levine.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is in its second year of running one of the largest text and chat outreach operations for people ages 15 to 24, targeting African-American and Latino youth through promotional campaigns on MTV, websites and mobile providers, social media, wallet cards, video and Seventeen magazine.

Through February, nearly 185,000 conversations – 22,447 via text – were recorded, according to Planned Parenthood. About a third of conversations on health-related topics – including birth control, abortion and pregnancy tests – were with users both under 25 and African-American or Latino.

Debbie Gant-Reed sees the need every day. She’s the crisis lines coordinator at a 24-hour help line in Reno, Nevada, called the Crisis Call Center. The center has been providing 24-hour text help for two and a half years, fielding about 500 text conversations a month.

“We’re now taking texts from all over the country,” she said. “You can chat all you want but you’re going to get older people. Young people don’t chat. They text.”

On the Web…

http://www.crisistextline.org/ (text service scheduled to launch in August)

Planned Parenthood Federal of America text line video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYj4TF4c42Y (text PPGO to 774636)

National Dating Abuse Helpline: http://www.loveisrespect.org/about-national-dating-abuse-helpline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (phone and chat service only)

Crisis Call Center: http://www.crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.html (text ANSWER to 839863)

Teenlineonline.org: Teen Line in Los Angeles (text TEEN to 839863)

Florida gov provides adult phone number instead of meningitis hotline

Florida Gov. Rick Scott accidentally provided a number for an “adult” phone service rather than the hotline service for the fungal meningitis outbreak.

WUSF radio and the Miami Herald report that the Republican governor was providing an update on the outbreak during a cabinet meeting on Oct. 9. He transposed two numbers that led callers to an “adult” phone line.

WUSF learned of the mix-up after posting the incorrect number in a Web report. A caller notified the station that the greeting was “Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary.”

The hotline number, 866-523-7339, connects callers to the Florida Department of Health.

Radcliffe appears in PSA for LGBT hotline

An LGBT youth hotline’s new public service announcement featuring Daniel Radcliffe premieres tonight on Fox during the network’s hit series “Glee.”

The 30-second spot encourages LGBT youth to call the Trevor Lifeline if they need support or are considering suicide. The number is 866-488-7386.

The spot also will run on Hulu in conjunction with of “Glee.”

“We are very excited to premiere this life-saving PSA featuring Daniel Radcliffe during prime time on one of the most popular shows on television,” said David McFarland, CEO of The Trevor Project. “The opportunity to reach millions of LGBTQ youth, their families and friends during a show like ‘Glee’ with a message to reinforce that it is OK to reach out for help when you need it can truly help save lives.”

This is Radcliffe’s second PSA for The Trevor Project Lifeline. The actor has been involved with the organization since 2009, dedicating much of his public support to raising awareness for the 24/7 free and confidential crisis line.

“My work with The Trevor Project has taught me that the best thing I can do as a straight ally is show my support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Radcliffe said. “When we let someone know that we accept them for who they are and that we are safe to talk to, we can help save lives. It’s as simple as that.”

The PSA was produced by Emmett Loverde, a Los Angeles-based writer-director and cinematographer.

For more about the project go to TheTrevorProject.org.

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