New Hope for Women seeks Hotline volunteers

Posted:  Monday, March 20, 2017 - 2:15pm
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ROCKLAND —One of the most important services New Hope for Women provides to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking is the toll-free 24/7 Hotline.

Last year, New Hope for Women hotline volunteers provided more than 3,200 hours of support to residents of Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo counties. Callers to the hotline appreciate having a compassionate, supportive, and informative person to talk to, and those working the hotline view it as a way to help members of the community change their life, one call at a time.

NHFW is currently looking to expand its network of hotline volunteers. Extensive training is provided and security is assured. The volunteer works from the privacy of their home and the client doesn't know who you are or where you're located.

As a former abuse victim who had called the NHFW Hotline in the past, Carol wanted to give back. While she knew she had a lot to offer having been on the other side of the call, she was fearful about saying the wrong things.

"The training was a very positive experience with helpful, well-presented information, lots of useful role-playing and the opportunity to get to know other volunteers as well as staff members. Being on the hotline can really make a difference. Knowing that I've been able to help others the way someone helped me means a great deal to me."

Hotline volunteers take calls right from the comfort of their homes, with support staff always available. Hotline volunteer Sharon was most concerned about callers becoming too dependent on her.

"Through the training, I learned that our goal—and gift—is to empower the callers to take the control of their life back. And knowing there is always a staff person to support me makes me feel much more comfortable."

New Hope for Women envisions an end to domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and believes everyone in our communities can work together to achieve this goal. Hotline volunteer Tony agrees.

"I was involved in planning a fundraiser for NHFW. The hotline volunteers and staff members I met were all deeply involved and seriously committed to bringing domestic violence to an end. I quickly came to believe men have as much at stake as women in serving this advocacy."

For many hotline volunteers, Tony sums up what they find most rewarding. "Being a hotline volunteer is an honor. I believe I'm making a difference and helping to end domestic violence. It surely helps to make my life worthwhile."

Hotline training classes will begin in early April. For more information about becoming a hotline volunteer, please contact Stevie Colburn, training coordinator, at scolburn@newhopeforwomen.org, 594-2128 or go to www.newhopeforwomen.org and download a volunteer application.

In addition to offering support to people in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo counties affected by domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, New Hope for Women also provides important educational resources to assist our communities in creating a safer and healthier future.

Learn more about New Hope for Women at www.newhopeforwomen.org or call 800-522-3304.