Safe Hotlines: Meet Our New Advocacy Department

Safe Hotlines: Meet Our New Advocacy Department We sat down with Yana Calou (they/them), Director of Advocacy, to learn more about what’s in store for Trans Lifeline’s new advocacy efforts. Sign up for news on Safe Hotlines Q: Why is Trans Lifeline establishing an advocacy department? A: Over the years of providing community-based crisis support without police, we’ve created a national peer support and crisis hotline model for providing care that’s free of police intervention and involuntary hospitalization. We’ve done this because non-consensual law enforcement intervention and forced hospitalization often cause more harm to people in crises, particularly those in marginalized populations. We know they don't get to the causes of these crises. Crisis lines are often touted as alternatives to calling police, when actually, most national hotlines and text services use geolocating surveillance to engage local police — often without the caller’s knowledge or consent that cops or emergency medical teams are arriving at their location. Callers are tracked as they’re first prompted to answer a slew of unreliable behavioral and risk assessment questions. These surveillance and risk assessment practices center liability and “saving” lives at all costs — but hurt communities of color and result in hundreds of thousands of police interactions with people in crises across the country each year. This is not what survivors of such crises find helpful in the short or long term. These practices exacerbate crises and ...