Typical Helpline phonecall
This case study is representative of a typical call taken on the National Domestic Violence Helpline.
A woman called from a telephone box in Sheffield. She had left her home just half an hour previously, packing her bags with just the bare necessities and bringing her four children, aged between 18 months and seven years, with her. She had to leave while her husband was taking the car to the garage, knowing she had only a very short amount of time to leave before his return.
The helpline volunteer responding to the call took the number of the call box the woman was calling from to ensure that there would be no disruptions in the call. The volunteer learned that the caller’s partner had a history of serious violence towards not only the caller but to other family members and friends. It was the threat of abusive behaviour towards the children that finally made the caller leave the home. The caller’s partner already had had a non-molestation order served on him by the caller but she felt that his temper was so out of control he would still be violent towards her with no regard for the consequences. The volunteer explained the refuge system to the caller, and discussed practical details with her such as travel warrants before mutually agreeing that the caller would hang up and await a telephone call at the call box from either the volunteer who took the call or a refuge worker direct.
The volunteer found space for the caller and her children in a refuge in Birmingham. A refuge worker from the Birmingham refuge agreed to call the caller back at the telephone box in order to discuss details. After doing that, the refuge worker called the Helpline volunteer back to let her know that the caller and her children were on their way to Birmingham.
DURATION OF CALL (including calls to refuges on behalf of the caller): 15 minutes
Please note: For reasons of confidentiality, real names and genuine cases are not recorded in specific detail, although the Helpline are able to record statistical information from our monitoring data in order to inform funders and assess service delivery.
If you would like to share your story about your call to the Helpline, please do let us know.
The National Domestic Violence Helpline is run in partnership between Women's Aid & Refuge.