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Austin-area leaders announce federal domestic violence resources

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

AUSTIN, Texas — Amid Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Austin-area leaders are announcing an increase in federal resources to help survivors in need.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, joined The Hotline and other local leaders on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to announce the initiative, which aims to reduce domestic violence and improve response.

The funding will be provided with help from the Joe Biden administration.

"We have, essentially, a doubling of the amount of money that goes to this hotline, $25 million, in the bill that we've approved in the House," said Rep. Doggett, adding that it has bipartisan support in the Senate. "This is new funding that will allow for strengthening both the physical and human infrastructure with this hotline."

Over the last five years, Doggett said that contacts to The Hotline have increased by about 43%. However, during that time, he said there's only been a modest increase in the amount of appropriations.

"With these dollars, The Hotline will be able to hire the staff to reduce the waiting time," added Doggett. "So often, listening to these incredible calls that they have to deal with day after day, time is of the essence. It's an emergency situation. You don't want to keep somebody waiting on the phone."

RELATED: Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The realities of domestic violence in Travis County

Experts hope that a portion of this funding, around $1 million, will also help them put time and research into creating a hotline dedicated to those causing the arm, or the "perpetrators." This funding would all come from the Family Violence Prevention Services Act, if passed.

The Hotline is open 24/7 throughout the year, including holidays, to provide essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence. Callers can expect to speak with highly-trained advocates who can offer free, confidential and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education and referral services in over 200 languages.

To get support, call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, text "START" to 88788, or chat online.

You can watch the full conference here:

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