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Gabby Petito Foundation Partners with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to Reach More Survivors
Foundation grants $100,000 for campaign to grow The Hotline’s capacity to serve survivors
Austin, TX– Today, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) announced a $100,000 donation from the Gabby Petito Foundation in support of The Hotline’s “Hope Can’t Wait” emergency fundraising campaign. The foundation’s donation brings The Hotline nearly halfway to its $2 million goal which will enable the organization to increase capacity to respond to a record number of people currently reaching out. The Hotline is the only 24/7/365 resource for survivors of domestic violence serving the United States and its territories.
With the funds, The Hotline will hire and train more full-time advocates and advance its technology infrastructure to answer more contacts. Contributions to the Hope Can’t Wait campaign up to $200,000 will be matched by Jim and Dede Bartlett, generous longtime supporters of The Hotline.
Every month since October 2021, The Hotline has experienced record high numbers of contacts from people impacted by relationship abuse seeking support, resulting in longer hold times. Throughout the pandemic, survivors faced increased risk of violence, especially when conditions put them in close proximity to partners causing harm. Now that normal daily activities have resumed for most people, survivors are more able to find safe time and space to reach out for support. In addition, survivors often see their own experience in high-profile and devastating stories of domestic violence, like the widespread coverage of Gabby Petito’s tragic disappearance and murder.
“The Hotline’s contact volume has almost doubled over last year; on average we’re receiving nearly 80,000 incoming calls, chats and texts each month. More than ever, survivors need validation, support and safety planning, and connection to resources such as shelter, legal aid, economic assistance and healthcare,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.“The Hotline and the Gabby Petito Foundation are dedicated to meeting this moment head-on, and answering the call for survivors, and their loved ones. The Gabby Petito Foundation’s generous donation, and all gifts to our campaign, will help to ensure our critical 24/7 work continues and we can connect with more people impacted by domestic violence.”
The Gabby Petito Foundation, created by the family of Gabby Petito who lost her life to domestic violence in 2021, provides support to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence and their families through education, awareness and prevention. The foundation is working to identify survivor-centered partners making an immediate, tangible difference to victims of violence and their families. Its philanthropic mission supports organizations like The Hotline with the funding necessary to secure critical resources to support survivors.
“No family should feel the pain that we’ve felt every day since we lost Gabby. Survivors who are able to reach out should connect with an advocate quickly,” said Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito and Co-Founder of the Gabby Petito Foundation. “Domestic violence can be stopped, and organizations like The Hotline are at the forefront of ensuring that survivors get the support they need to seek a safer future. We support organizations doing this life-saving work and encourage everyone to join us by making a gift to The Hotline’s emergency campaign. Thousands of people in need are depending on us.”
To support “Hope Can’t Wait,” please visit https://www.thehotline.org/hopecantwait/. Gifts up to $200,000 will be matched. For more information about “Hope Can’t Wait,” please reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s media team at firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 713-5503.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse in any form, help is available. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, confidential support 24/7/365. Text START to 88788, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at TheHotline.org. You are not alone.
The Gabby Petito Foundation is pleased to announce the following changes to our “Find Gabby” Facebook page.
Effective 12/1/2021, the Facebook site created to “Find Gabby” has been changed to “Gabby – Find the missing.”
Jim Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s stepfather, has been working behind the scenes to capture the energy and support from our followers to position the Gabby Petito Foundation at the forefront of efforts to help unite Missing Persons with their families. Using our existing site and platform, we hope to create a social media springboard for others that have experienced the pain and frustration the Petito/Schmidt families went through during the search for Gabby in September 2021.
Schmidt said our lives were devastated when our beloved daughter Gabby went missing. Gabby’s story received worldwide media attention and touched the lives of so many people, we formed this foundation to pay it forward, and this is just one step in our journey. We are also partnering with similar organizations and media partners, working on legislative action and educational materials to spread information further and help others during these times.
Despite our tragedy, we will work tirelessly to shed light on missing person cases throughout our nation to assist in bringing them home to their families. We were grateful to receive an outpouring of help from many wonderful organizations and the public. One of our goals is to continue to bring the issue of missing persons into the headlines and to use Gabby’s platform to be a voice for the families of these individuals.
After you have reported a missing person case to law enforcement, you may contact us through the Gabby-Find the missing Facebook messenger, Instagram, Twitter, or email at: Gabby-Findthemissing@GabbyPetitoFoundation.org
Please provide us with any relevant details, a missing flyer, or photographs so our team can look into these cases and help spread the word through our social media platform. It is vital to know that you are not alone, and many people are affected by this daily. We want to help you.