After being launched about 5 years ago in late 2014, DomesticShelters.org helped its 10,000,000th visitor on January 8, 2020. During that same period, more than 23.5 million pages on the website have been viewed and nearly 38,000 pages from other websites now link to the go-to, free service that offers helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.
“The numbers speak to the immense problem that domestic violence continues to be and the great success of this project,” said Ashley Rumschlag, Project Director at Theresa’s Fund, the charity that identified the need for a comprehensive online domestic violence resource, built the first searchable online and mobile database of domestic violence programs and has operated the website ever since. “We hear from people daily thanking us for helping them learn, survive and plan for a better future.”
DomesticShelters.org helps a staggering number of people: an average of 365 people per hour. Rumschlag says it is closer 600 per hour between noon and 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, with inquiries diminishing during the overnight hours. About 10% of the visitors are at the place in their domestic violence journey where they are ready to seek information about contacting nearby programs and shelters.
The other 90% spend time learning from the 15,000+ pages of content on the website, which not only provides a searchable online and mobile database of 2,858 domestic violence programs to make finding help faster and easier, but also offers over 700 articles on domestic violence, checklists, risk assessments, toolkits, comprehensive statistics, widgets, recommended books, surveys, and videos.
The majority of visitors emanate from the United States and Canada, since the website is designed to address those two countries specifically. About 10% of the visitors, however, come from other English-speaking countries, mainly Great Britain and Australia. The website has recorded visits from every nation on earth and 14,931 cities with the most traffic coming from these ten cities: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, Seattle, Phoenix and London.
The most popular content on the website might surprise some, as well as provide insight into the complexity of the domestic violence experience and the myriad topics victims face. During the most recent 12 month period, the most commonly view ten articles on the website were:
· Strangulation Can Leave Long-Lasting Injuries
· 10 Ways You Can Help Prevent Domestic Violence Locally
· 5 Stages of Recovery After a Breakup
· What Happens When Someone Violates a Court Order?
· How to Prove Nonphysical Abuse in Court
· 5 Myths about Child Custody and Domestic Violence
· 14 Misconceptions About Domestic Violence
· 10 Patterns of Verbal Abuse
· How Police Are Trained to Respond to Domestic Violence
· Domestic Violence Statistics
Seven of these ten articles also appear on the all-time list of the top ten most commonly viewed articles from 2014-to-current. Additions to the all-time list include: This Is Why I Didn't Tell You He Was Beating Me, Profile of an Abuser and Abusive Red Flags Everyone Should Know.
“We continue to learn from victims and advocates and plan to continue to evolve our offering around the evolution of their needs. In 2020 we hope to announce another major initiative, just as we have done nearly every year since DomesticShelters.org was launched,” added Rita Smith, VP of External Relations at Theresa’s Fund.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence visit www.domesticshelters.org/help to search for a local domestic violence program.
About Theresa’s Fund
Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. At a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grantmaking, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the DomesticShelters.org concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S. and Canada. DomesticShelters.org is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.