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Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 00:04 GMT
Abuse helpline launched
Still from domestic violence ad
One in five women are affected
A special telephone hotline for victims of domestic abuse is to go into operation.

The service has been designed so that details of calls made to it will not be displayed on itemised bills.

The helpline is part of a campaign by the Scottish Executive to target domestic violence over Christmas and the New Year.

A series of powerful television adverts are to be screened from Boxing Day.

Mother and child
Domestic abuse hits many families
One in five women is subjected to verbal or physical abuse in the home at some point in their lives.

The likelihood increases during the festive season when cases of domestic violence reach a peak.

The executive's helpline is designed to offer women instant help and advice between now and the end of January.

Telephone companies have engineered the service so that calls will not be registered on itemised accounts.

The line is being promoted through a television advertising campaign, with adverts screened at peak viewing times.

'Long term solutions'

Social Justice Minister Jackie Baillie said: ''Our new ad campaign is about changing attitudes towards abuse, as well as giving those who suffer the support they need, we must root out the domestic abuse from Scottish society.

"That's why we've recently published a national strategy to find long term solutions and launched the biggest ever funding package.

"One in five women women suffer domestic abuse at some point in their lives. That's one in five too many."

The free helpline number is 0800 027 1234.

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See also:

16 Oct 00 | Scotland
Violence threat to child happiness
06 Sep 00 | Scotland
Abuse bill plan put on ice
25 Dec 99 | Scotland
SNP calls for domestic abuse cash
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