I am getting in touch to share some exciting news. As of today, Refuge is running the Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline as sole provider.
Some of you may have seen Rosie Duffield MP deliver an impassioned account of her own experience with domestic violence in the chamber a few weeks ago. It was fantastic to see such a brave and open account of what many are experiencing but are too afraid to speak out about. That's why I'm glad that this service is now available.
Women callers can reach the service on the same number as always, 0808 2000 247, every hour of the day and every day of the year. Refuge’s expert staff and volunteers will continue to provide confidential, non-judgmental support to women experiencing domestic abuse, including safety planning, information about their rights and options, and referrals to refuges and other specialist services across the country. The expert team will be able to speak to women in any language on the Helpline, using interpreters.
Refuge will also be launching a digital service at the end of the month, designed in consultation with survivors and Helpline staff, and with a ‘AAA’ accessibility compliance rating, to ensure there are more ways for women to get the support they need.
One woman in four will experience domestic abuse at some time in her life. All of us will know somebody who is experiencing abuse or coercion from their partner; we just may not realise it. So, Refuge is asking all of you to spread the word about the National Domestic Abuse Helpline – with constituents, colleagues and friends and family. Women can call us for free and in confidence, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.