Crisis Text Line

The Cool Calm

The Cool Calm is the Crisis Text Line blog. Insights, data, stories, and other looks at our work in crisis intervention and technology.

April 2018 Newsletter: Emotional Abuse


#wednesdaywisdom Celebrate "small" wins. Got out of bed when you didn't think you could?  Did something that terrified you?  Made it through another day? 

— Crisis Text Line (@CrisisTextLine) April 18, 2018

I. Data Bytes

Have a data question? Email our Chief Data Scientist:

Emotional Abuse Convos

We recently expanded our mandated reporting policy to be inclusive of emotional abuse. (Note: when it becomes relevant, a texter is informed that their Crisis Counselor is a mandated reporter.)

Who: More likely to occur with texters who identify as Native American, Alaskan Native, Asian or Asian-American, trans, or agender. 
Where: Highest rates in Hawaii, South Dakota, and Maine. Lowest rates in North Dakota, Wyoming and, Iowa.
When: Higher rates during the weekends and Winter.

Words: The top 15 unique words that texters use in these conversations are as follows.

  1. Abusive
  2. Emotionally
  3. Verbally
  4. Report
  5. Screaming
  6. Abuser
  7. Threatened
  8. Domestic
  9. Threat
  10. CPS
  11. Foster
  12. Babysitter
  13. Bedroom
  14. Wedding
  15. Manipulative

Tips & Tricks: 

Identify Friends/Support Networks. Effective emotional abuse conversations are more likely than others to involve a discussion of a texter’s support network. In particular, a Crisis Counselor (CC) referencing the word “friend” is highly connected to positively-rated conversations. Ex: “Who else in your life have you shared this with--family, friends, someone else?”

Validate the Desire for Change. Emotional abuse can be all-consuming. Effective CC conversations tend to explore what change the texter would like to see in their life - while acknowledging that the texter might not be able to make a change today. Ex: “I can see that you want the abuse to end. It sounds like you love him and don’t want to give up.”
Music. Texters overwhelmingly mention this as their top coping skill in these conversations. “You said you love music - do you have a favorite song that makes you feel like you can do anything?”

Want to explore the data more? Go to and select the filter Issue = “Abuse, emotional.” Explore the trends in your state! We’ve updated the visualizations with more scoop. And, more updates to Crisis Trends coming this Summer .  

II. Texter Feedback

Some highlights of the feedback we’ve gotten from texters in the post-conversation survey. Texters providing this optional feedback consent to us sharing it.

  • You[‘re] so understandin[g]. And didn't give up after I probably kept repeating myself. Thank you for talking to me and just showing me support

    • The patience we show our texters means a lot to them - we always keep in mind that this might be the texter’s first try at getting help.

  • No one has ever addressed what I feel as pain and knowing that this feeling I'm coping with is pain makes me feel real again.

    • We never diagnose, but we can still put a name to the pain the texter is feeling by validating it.

  • thirty minutes is all that it took to help my friend even just a bit. it also cheered me up too that you asked about me. so thank you for ta[l]king to me.

    • Third-party texters can be in crisis themselves - be sure to ask about how they’re doing in light of what’s happening.

III. Blog Highlights

IV. Support Our Work

1. We’re excited to share the updated Spread the Word Toolkit, packed with the resource and information you need to share Crisis Text Line with your networks. Check it out!

2. Interested in becoming a volunteer Crisis Counselor? Take the first step: visit for more information.