If you are in danger, need emergency assistance or are considering suicide please call 911 (United States) or your local authorities immediately.
If you prefer to talk with a victim assistance specialist on the phone, please call 1-844-4HELPDC (1-844-443-5732)
Your safety is very important. We have taken numerous measures to keep your communication safe while using our site. However, be aware that no internet communication can be 100% secure. Please make sure you are using a safe computer or mobile device when you contact us.
If you suspect that someone is monitoring your technology:
- try using a computer at the library, work or borrowing one from a friend or family member
- buy a cheap, disposable phone to make confidential phone calls
- change all of your passwords to email and bank accounts, and social media sites
We take your privacy very seriously and will work to maintain as much confidentiality as is allowable by law. We want you to know that:
- we will not record or store any identifying information about our contact with you
- you do not have to share any personal details with us unless you want to
- Anything you share will remain confidential, unless you disclose abuse or neglect of a child, elder or vulnerable adult, or the intent to harm yourself or others.
Full Text of Agreements
Effective Date: June 1, 2015
Collection of Information About You
The National Center for Victims of Crime operates the DC Victim Hotline. The DC Victim Hotline is staffed by victim assistance specialists to help you during online sessions, and the National Center provides supervisors to help monitor these online sessions. Any information that you share during a chat session will be viewed by the victim assistance specialist assisting you, and may also be viewed by one or more supervisors from the National Center for quality control purposes.
If you provide feedback through an anonymous feedback survey following your session, that feedback may be shared with the victim assistance specialist assisting you and with other personnel at the National Center. However, the feedback will be anonymous, and we will not ask for your name or any personal information, or attach any feedback to information that you provide during your online session.
"Personally Identifiable Information" is information about you that would identify you, such as your name, date of birth, or IP address. The DC Victim Hotline is intended to be an anonymous service and you will NOT be asked to provide any identifying information at any time during your use of the DC Victim Hotline. In fact, the National Center specifically requests, for your own safety and anonymity, that you do not provide any such Personally Identifiable Information when you use the DC Victim Hotline.
Note that while no Personally Identifiable Information will be asked, victim assistance specialists may ask for your zip code or city and state in order to provide you with local referrals for ongoing support. Providing this information is strictly voluntary.
The conversation you have with the victim assistance specialists during your chat, phone, or text session is intended to be part of a private conversation between you and the support specialist, and will NOT be recorded, stored, saved, or catalogued by the National Center. Some general information (e.g., services requested, type of crime mentioned) about each session will be saved in aggregate forms.
Aggregate Data & Cookies: We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number of users of the DC Victim Hotline, length of stay, and average length of sessions. This data cannot be used to identify you personally, and helps us to determine how often the DC Victim Hotline is being used, at what times of the day, and other useful statistics. We may use this aggregate data for internal record keeping and service improvement purposes, and also may share it with sponsors, supporters, or the media.
The DC Victim Hotline does NOT place any permanent or "persistent" cookies on your computer, although dcvictim.org does use session cookies. The cookies placed by dcvictim.org cannot be used to identify you as a user of The DC Victim Hotline.
How We Protect Your Security
The National Center for Victims of Crime stores information on a secure server that is only accessible by National Center employees or contractors, pursuant to the terms described above. However, as previously noted, we may aggregate certain information and provide such aggregate reports to third parties. Again, we do not store transcripts of communications over the DC Victim Hotline.
We employ different security techniques to protect your personal information from unauthorized access by users inside and outside of our organization, including standard encryption practices. You should be aware, however, that "perfect security" does not exist anywhere on the Internet. Although we believe we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorized disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that your personally identifiable information or communications with the DC Victim Hotline will never be disclosed in a matter inconsistent with this policy, and make no representations or warranties regarding the sufficiency of our security policies.
Always be careful and responsible regarding your personal information. We are not responsible for, and cannot control, the use by others of any information that you provide or divulge to them, purposefully or inadvertently. Please note that the owner of any computer/device on which you access the DC Victim Hotline may have the right to access computers that it owns or has provided. We do not control the privacy policies of others.
For more information on how to keep your computer/device safe, please read our User Safety Procedures above.
How We May Share Information
We will not publish, sell, share, or rent information about you in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. However, we may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances. We may be required to (or you authorize us to) reveal any information about you that we possess to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe is necessary or appropriate, in connection with the investigation of a crime, mandatory reporting laws, fraud, intellectual property infringement, or other activity that is illegal, or may expose us, or you, to liability. Also, if we, or a victim assistance specialist, fear that you are in danger of committing suicide, harming another individual, or have information about a child 17 years old or younger who may be in danger, we, or the victim assistance specialist, may be required to disclose whatever information you have provided to the appropriate authorities. It is possible that a court of law will not keep private, and may require us to reveal, information that you provide during your DC Victim Hotline session. If you are concerned about this possibility, please call the DC Victim Hotline at 1-844-4HELPDC. The data that we collect, and therefore may share, is limited in the manner described above.
Our Policy Toward Children
We are concerned about the safety and privacy of children who use the Internet. Consistent with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, we will never knowingly request Personally Identifiable Information from anyone under the age of 13 without prior verifiable parental consent. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through dcvictim.org without verifiable parental consent, we will use our best efforts to remove such information from our files. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through dcvictim.org without verifiable parental consent, he or she should contact the National Center for Victims of Crime at (202) 467-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org in order to speak with the DC Victim Hotline program manager.
Other Information Collectors
Your Consent and Chances in Privacy Pledge
Alternatively, you can communicate by mail at:
National Center for Victims of Crime
Attn: National Center Privacy Coordinator
2000 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Please only address questions about the privacy pledge to the above addresses. If you are concerned about a specific page, please email email@example.com.