First in nation helpline for abusers launched in Massachusetts to help curb domestic abuse

BOSTON — A new initiative aimed at curbing domestic abuse is underway in Massachusetts. It’s a special helpline called 10 to 10 and it is aimed at providing help for abusers.

“It’s not a men’s helpline. It’s a helpline for anybody who is using control and abuse. And that can be any gender, any race, anybody, really. Young, old. It’s possible anybody could be having these feelings and we’re not going to stigmatize anybody who calls. That’s our commitment,” said Monica Moran, the manager of Domestic Violence Prevention Services for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in Springfield.

10 to 10 operates from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., which is where the helpline derives its name. And it is set up to offer coping strategies to abusers and to people close to them. The idea is to offer support to abusers or potential abusers before an incident takes place.

Too often domestic abuse turns deadly, and there are now hopes this new approach, offering a way for abusers to change, can make a big difference.

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“We don’t want to keep looking to victims and survivors to solve domestic violence, and only look to them. We want to pull into the people who are being abusive and say, ‘look you are part of the community,’” Moran said.

10 to 10 is not a therapy session and it does not condone abuse. But it does provide abusers with tools to better understand themselves so they can help themselves.

“It’s a paradigm shift for us to say we can do both things. We can hold people accountable, and we can be compassionate, and people can change. We got to try,” Moran said.

The 10 to 10 Helpline is available free of charge to anyone in Massachusetts. Family and friends of potential abusers who recognize signs of abuse are encouraged to call for strategies. The 10 to 10 Helpline can be reached at 877-898-3411.