0808 2000 247 Free phone 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge

Helpline FAQs - Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, 0808 2000 247


Who can call the helpline?
- Women and children experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic violence
- Friends and family seeking to support women and children who are experiencing, or - who have experienced, domestic violence
- Professionals supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence.

View these examples of typical helpline calls: Helpline call one, Helpline call two, Helpline call three.

What’s the core purpose of the helpline?
The purpose of the joint Helpline service is to give women, children and their supporters the confidential support and information they need at the time that they need it. Our main aim is to keep women and children safe.  

What kind of advice is given via the helpline?

The Helpline is an emergency service and is not intended to offer general information on domestic violence Helpline staff respond according to caller's needs and may for example:

>> Refer women (with or with out children) to emergency safe accommodation.
>> Provide information about legal, housing or welfare rights and options and referral to relevant services and professions
>>Carry out online crisis and safety planning
>> Offer emotional support and (if appropriate) refer to counselling services 
>>Refer women to face-to-face support via community based drop-in or outreach domestic violence services in their locality
>>Refer callers to the online Survivors Handbook or send them an information pack, with a range of help and information leaflets that are all available in different languages.

In addition to offering confidential support and information, Helpline staff are a source of practical help and information about housing rights and entitlements, information on getting injunctions or reassurance about calling the police.

What kind of response is given to emails? 
The National Domestic Violence Helpline can only offer limited information by email as we do not have the resources to provide on-going support or in-depth information in this way. If you require an urgent response or need in-depth emotional support please contact the Freephone 24 hour Helpline on 0808 2000 247. When you email the Helpline it's very important that you specify when and if it is safe to respond and to which email address.  Your safety is our main concern.


I don't speak English, can you still help?
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. The Survivor's Handbook is also available in a range of different languages. We would also like to recommend the International Inventory of Domestic Violence services.


My hearing isn’t very good on the phone. What should I do?
The Helpline offers BT Type talk for callers with hearing difficulties.

What other information is available to help me?
The Survivor's Handbook covers every aspect of seeking help and support, including how to make yourself and your children safe, your legal rights and  how you can help a friend experiencing domestic violence. It also provides practical information about your housing options. the range of refuge and other domestic violence services available to you and information about how to look after your physical and mental health. There are also specialist Domestic Violence services and Helplines available. 

How long will it be before you reply to my email?
Emails are answered within three working days.

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?
Unfortunately calls are not free from any mobile but the Helpline is a freephone number from any landline or public telephone. Calls to the Helpline made on Orange, Virgin and 3 networks do not show up on your phone bill.  Other networks are also working towards this, but you will need to check with their customer services team if you are concerned. 


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.


Who answers the phone?
Fully trained and experienced female Helpline workers and volunteers.  The Helpline is run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge.