A free phone service to support people affected by domestic abuse in Warwickshire is changing its hours of operation.
From Thursday, the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse Support Service, provided by care and support service Stonham and funded by Warwickshire County Council, will be available on 0800 408 1552 from 9am to 9pm on weekdays and from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays.
The free-to-call phone number provides emotional support and practical information to people experiencing domestic abuse, those who have previously experienced abuse and those seeking help on another’s behalf.
Since Stonham took over the helpline in April 2012, calls have increased by 80 per cent – leading the council to review the service’s hours and improve accessibility.
Sue Ingram, domestic abuse manager at the county council, said: “People experiencing domestic abuse can find it hard to find a safe time to call and we hope that by extending the hours of our helpline we are making it easier for them to get the support they need.
“As well as offering assistance over the phone, the helpline can give people access to other specialist services such as refuge and counselling.”
Specially-trained support workers are on hand to take calls in strict confidence. Callers do not have to provide their name if they do not wish to, can discuss their personal or family’s safety, and can receive expert advice on what services they can access.
Jane Kenion, Stonham’s domestic abuse support service manager, said: “When you call our helpline, you won’t be pushed into making any decision you are not happy with.
“It is important that anyone experiencing domestic abuse knows that they are not alone and that there is a dedicated service here for them.”
Domestic abuse is defined as incidents or a pattern of incidents of violence or controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour. This can include physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.
Anyone worried about domestic abuse should call the freephone helpline on 0800 408 1552 or visit www.talk2someone.org.uk for more information about the support available. In an emergency, call 999.