Back in February of 2016, Victim Support Services was awarded a grant through the Office of Crime Victim Advocacy (OCVA) to manage and monitor the first 24×7 statewide hotline for victims of general crime in Washington state. Individuals hurt or harmed by crime have been able to speak with a trained advocate to receive crisis intervention, advocacy, information, referrals and more. Since its inception in 2016, The Washington State Crime Victim Service Center (WACVSC) Hotline has fielded over 15,000 calls and texts.
With a new fiscal year starting for VSS this week, and due to reduced funding, we have had to make some difficult decisions. Beginning on Thursday, July 1st, the WACVSC Hotline will no longer have 24×7 phone services. If individuals would like to speak with an advocate, they may call the hotline during the business hours (including holidays) of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST. However, the text line services will still continue to be available 24×7.
During the next year, VSS will continue making changes, as unfortunately, this is the final year for the hotline. Our services do not stop here, though. Victim Support Services staff and volunteers will continue to provide the same comprehensive and person-centered services to victims of crime and their loved ones. We will always be there for the community, and although this is not ideal, there are crime victim service centers across the state ready to continue providing the same support and hope that they always have.
It has been a true honor serving the state in this capacity for over five years, we are very grateful to have been given such an opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns about the changes, feel free to contact Leslie McPherson, Programs Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if you are in danger, please call 911. Additionally, listed below are some other resources that may help.