DAIS’ 24/7 text line helps 30+ users in first month

MADISON, Wis. — A month after Domestic Abuse Intervention Services launched its new 24/7 text line, more than 30 people have used the service, the organization’s executive director said Tuesday.

DAIS launched the service at the end of September to provide those experiencing abuse another way to get help.

During the pandemic, DAIS’ executive director Shannon Barry said, calls to their help center fell dramatically. The text line not only helps those experiencing abuse receive help more discreetly but also makes it easier for those who are deaf and hard of hearing to access services.

The service may also be more comfortable for younger users who prefer texting over making phone calls, she added.

RELATED: New 24/7 text support line launched for domestic abuse victims: 608-420-4638

“We certainly want to always make sure that our services are as available and accessible as possible to folks, and so having a 24-hour text line is another way for people to connect with our services,” Barry said.

Barry is happy with the launch, saying DAIS has not yet done significant outreach on the new effort.

The messages, she said, are “coming in at all hours of the day, and it’s definitely being received very well by our community partners who are really excited to also share with people in their networks who might need our services of another way to contact us and reach us.”

When a user texts DAIS at 608-420-4638, they receive an automatic reply letting them know an advocate will be with them within 15 minutes. Data is deleted after the conversation to maintain confidentiality.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources available to help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 at 800-799-7233. DAIS — Domestic Abuse Intervention Services — can be reached by phone at 608-251-4445, by text 24/7 at 608-420-4638 or online at abuseintervention.org.