The announcement of the National Football League's multimillion-dollar, multiyear donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline last week prompted a lot of high-fives and backslapping among workers in the domestic violence field, who are delighted their cause finally is getting the attention that has so long eluded it. “This is a game changer as far as for our field,” said Brian Pinero, director of digital services for the hotline, says the Dallas Morning News. The Austin-based service is hoping the money will allow them to “answer every call, chat and text … for the next five years.” Last year 77,000 calls went unanswered.
The call volume has spiked in recent weeks with the release of the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator. According to The Associated Press, the hotline received 8,500 calls during the eight days immediately after the Rice video appeared but could handle only half of them. Some workers at the local level, who will end up receiving those additional cases through referrals, say they're still scrambling for resources. “I've heard all this talk” but have seen “absolutely nothing” for our agency, said Colleen Jamieson, chief operating officer at New Beginning, a domestic violence shelter in Garland. “And I wanted to say, 'you know, you guys, put your money where your mouthguard [is].'”