Help May Be A Text Message Away
At Bee The Swarm we want to help Women’s Services, Inc. fund their text hotline to help victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. This is their story and how you can help.
Most of the time texting is just a convenient way to confirm or make plans or share a joke, but a text can convey much more serious information. Traditional telephone crisis hotlines are increasingly offering SMS text message services so that anyone can elect to text a counselor/advocate in lieu of calling one.
Recognizing that we weren't reaching a big demographic that needs our services; Women's Services launched a text helpline in October of 2013. It only made sense since texting is more discreet and can't be overheard. Someone in crisis might be seeking guidance about one or more of the people they live with or encounter. Texting is also perfectly normal to see in social settings, so someone who wants to reach out for help while with a group of friends or at school or work can text without revealing to anyone else that something is wrong.
In addition to texts about sexual abuse and domestic violence, our counselor and advocates are trained to anticipate and respond to texts ranging from topics like bullying and relationships to eating disorders and LGBTQ issues. Texting also allows counselor/advocates to help more than one person at a time as well as introduce resources or confer with colleagues without having to place a caller on hold or transfer the call.
To initiate a conversation via text, texters can type WSCHAT in the message field and send it to 839863*. Counselor/advocates provide texters with the same services as they provide to those who call in or show up at our door. These services include risk assessment, collaborative problem solving, safety planning and emotional validation. Experts say that texters tend to be in more immediate crisis than callers, giving us even more reason to provide this service.
Incorporated in 1977, Women’s Services is a nonprofit with a mission of providing hope and resources for those affected by violence and advocating to end it. We are the sole provider of services to victims of domestic violence in Crawford County and also provide emergency shelter to women and their dependent children who are fleeing abuse or who are homeless for other reasons. In addition to providing emergency shelter, Women’s Services provides supportive group and individual counseling, case management, crisis intervention, and legal/medical advocacy/accompaniment to victims of domestic and sexual violence. We also conduct educational programming for three school districts in Crawford County, as well as, educational and informational programs for community organizations, churches, and others. Our core values are collaboration, empowerment, empathy, respect, integrity and hope. Our vision is communities free of violence.
We like to think of ourselves as the Google of victim service agencies because we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to fulfill our mission. This has included everything from community gardening (squash violence) to bystander intervention trainings in the community. Partnering with Bee the Swarm seems to bee right up our alley, So help support this cause and play ZomBees on Android and iOS devices when it becomes available!
*Standard message and data rates may apply. Users text STOP to opt--out. For end user privacy and terms & conditions go to Prevention Pays.