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Massachusetts group creates country's first hotline for domestic abusers

A man uses a cell phone. (Jenny Kane/AP)
A man uses a cell phone. (Jenny Kane/AP)

Editor’s note: The A Call for Change Helpline is a free, anonymous, and confidential intimate partner abuse prevention helpline, reachable at (877) 898-3411

Every year, about 10 million Americans experience domestic violence — that’s nearly 20 people a minute being physically or emotionally abused by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The scope of that abuse inspired Massachusetts-based social worker and domestic violence survivor JAC Patrissi to create a unique hotline: one that gives would-be or actual abusers — mostly men — a place to call when they feel out of control, or after they’ve committed an act of violence.

The hotline is called A Call for Change and it’s available 12 hours a day, with counselors at the ready to provide help in multiple languages, as well as for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks to Patrissi and Michelle Harris, a coordinator who also fields calls.

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