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Domestic Violence Hotline Asking For Volunteers To Help

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- One in four women will be abused by their partner during their lifetime. It's a disturbing statistic seen right here in Maryland.

Tracey Leong explains why more victims of domestic violence are coming forward telling their story and why they need our help.

In the past year, the Maryland Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Hotline has seen a dramatic increase in calls, but that support hasn't kept up with the demand.

It's the video that stunned the nation--former Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer--shining a spotlight on abuse.

"Being publicized--what happened with Ray Rice--has made other people aware of what can happen to anybody," said Terry Blevins, domestic violence survivor.

Each minute, 20 people become victims of domestic violence--a deeply rooted issue sparking extensive media coverage, even a Super Bowl ad.

"Brought an awareness now that may not have been there before. And I think now ladies know, and men, know that it's not acceptable in society," Joe Cline said.

Cline volunteers with the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Hotline.

"The first resource that you have to healing," he said.

More people are now getting the courage to report the abuse.

The hotline gets about 400 calls a month. With that high volume, there's a demand for someone to pick up the line.

"They are the ones who are going to be able to say to a victim, 'Don't be afraid, there's someone here,'" said Blevins.

Hotline manager Terry Blevins is a survivor of domestic violence. She knows firsthand how vital the support can be.

"In my heart, I really feel if there had been a hotline and I knew about it, that I would have called it," she said.

Volunteers are needed to help out with the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Shifts are about five hours a week, and you can take the calls from your own home.

Should you or someone you know be a victim of domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 410-828-6390.

Should you wish to volunteer, please call Tammy Cline at 410-853-3033.

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