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YWCA Stepping Stones Transitions To New Hotline Number

Keym | Science Museum Group Collection
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YWCA McLean County’s Stepping Stones program says its updated hotline number will provide quicker and more direct help to anyone who has experienced sexual assault or abuse and stalking.

The new number is (309) 556-7000, and it’s now managed internally by YWCA. That means a survivor’s call will be immediately connected to a Stepping Stones staff member or volunteer, eliminating any waiting time they may have experienced in the past.

“Everything we do is about the clients, and what’s important to us is that survivors have easier access to us and we eliminate all barriers,” said Hillary Pacha, senior director of YWCA prevention and empowerment services.

Before, clients had to contact YWCA’s partner, PATH (Providing Access To Help), where their calls were recorded and relayed to an on-call YWCA member. Then they would contact the survivor.

“PATH was a wonderful agency. We worked with them for 17 years, and we’ll continue to do so, but that was just one more person to call,” said Pacha. “So this just provides one number that they have to call no matter what day and time.”

The hotline has received around 237 calls in the past year, Pacha said.

“We ask ourselves, what can we do to improve services? Or what can we do to add services? And so this year, we added a couple positions to our staff. And then our own hotline,” said Pasha.

YWCA encourages the survivors of trauma to reach out if in need of a professional, counseling services, or support groups. 

“We’re really excited for this change, and we hope it helps survivors come forward and reach out knowing they get direct access to an advocate,” said Pacha.

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Jolie Sherman is a newsroom intern at WGLT. She joined WGLT in fall 2019.
Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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