The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is managed by Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland and is open all women and men affected by domestic violence. This free phone service (0808 802 1414) is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
The Helpline works closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Social Services and other voluntary and statutory agencies. Staff also work closely with the local Women’s Aid groups across Northern Ireland to ensure a prompt and quality service to all callers.
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Unit DHSSPS and the Community Safety Unit, Department of Justice.
- What is the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline?
- Who uses the service?
- How can the helpline help?
- What kind of information is given on the helpline?
- What if English is not my first language?
- Will the number show up on my phone bill?
- Is it free from a mobile?
- What happens if I get put through to Voicemail?
- Email Support
- SMS Text Service
What is the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline?
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline provides a confidential telephone, email and text service, open all women and men affected by domestic violence. There are trained helpline workers waiting to take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is a member of the Helplines Association.
Who uses the service?
We are open to anyone affected by domestic violence regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, age or ethnicity.
We take calls from those directly affected by domestic violence and also friends and families seeking to support those experiencing domestic violence. We also receive calls from voluntary and statutory agencies and provide an information service to help them meet the needs of those experiencing domestic violence.
We are a central regional referral point which providing the first point of contact between those experiencing domestic violence and the relevant enforcement, support and helping agencies.
How can the helpline help?
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline provides a listening ear service to those affected by domestic violence. We acknowledge how difficult it can be to talk to others about how you are feeling and what you are going through.
The helpline provides confidential, emotional support. Some callers may be contacting us for the first time. We acknowledge how difficult that can be. The difference with our service is that you don’t have to make an appointment, get your children looked after, catch a bus to see us or leave your home. You can contact us anonymously to discuss your feelings with a helpline worker who will offer non-judgemental, caring and empathetic support.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and the helpline offers an anonymous support service to all our callers.
What kind of information is given on the helpline?
The helpline is a listening ear service and is not just an emergency service line. We deal with many varied and different kinds of calls and offer information and options to those experiencing domestic violence as well as family and friends.
Our trained staff and volunteers offer support and information to all those experiencing domestic violence and are trained in specialised issues of sexual abuse as a form of domestic violence. We offer support to men experiencing domestic violence and can also offer signposting services to them including local counselling support and groups.
Women calling our service can be referred to our Women’s Aid Advice Centres for information on face to face services, including court support, one to one support, one stop shop and group work programmes.
For emergency crisis intervention, we can refer women and children to our Women’s Aid refuges throughout Northern Ireland 24 hours a day. We can talk through safety plans and crisis intervention. We outline options available to everyone experiencing domestic violence and can signpost to other relevant agencies.
What if English is not my first language?
The Helpline is a member of Language Line and can provide access to an interpreter for non-English-speaking callers. The Helpline worker arranges a three-way conversation so that the caller can speak to the Helpline worker through a translator.
Will the number show up on my phone bill?
The Helpline number will not show up on BT landline phone bills. If you have another service provider you will need to check with their customer services team.
Is it free from a mobile?
Yes, the helpline is free from all mobiles.
What happens if I get put through to Voicemail?
This will only happen when call volumes are high. Please leave a clear message with your name and a contact number. It is important to let us know a safe time that you can be contacted. A Helpline worker will return the call as soon as they are available.
You can email the helpline for support too. Email: email@example.com
Please note we cannot respond to emails by telephone as safety may be compromised. If you wish to speak to somebody please call the number above. As with our helpline, your confidentiality is assured as we have software that protects you from being identified. At no time do we see your email address.
Our emails are stored for 30 days on a safe server, this enables us to be able to see if you have contacted us before. All our emails are responded to individually by a trained helpline worker, you may not get the same helpline worker responding to each email.
We will respond to your email within 24 hours. If you require an urgent response or need in-depth support please contact the Helpline on 0808 802 1414. When you email us it’s very important that you specify when and if and when it is safe to respond by email. Your safety is our main concern.
SMS Text Service
To access support via SMS/Text, please text support to 07797 805 839. We will respond to you within 24 hours. Please note that this is not an instant messaging service, as we do not have the resources to offer that service at this present time. Text is confidential and we don’t need your name or telephone number. The text service is also open 24 hours a day. We will respond within 24 hours at the very latest. We won’t share any information about your texts with anyone outside the helpline unless we think that your life is in danger.