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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Abuse helpline becomes permanent
photo staged by actors. Shows: man pushing woman
Help for victims of domestic abuse is being increased
Victims of domestic abuse can now call a dedicated helpline 24 hours a day, it has been announced.

An average of 15 victims rang the helpline every night during a trial period between December and May.

Women's aid workers have welcomed the decision to extend the scheme to make it possible for victims to call the helpline round-the-clock.

Mary Lockhart of Scottish Women's Aid said: "Women experience domestic abuse every day and every hour of every day.

"We've campaigned tirelessly for a level of service provision which reflects this reality. "

Helpline boss, Liz Kelly, said: "The middle of the night is often the time when women have the opportunity and privacy to make the call. It's really important that they don't just get an answering machine."

Damning report

Deputy Communities Minister Mary Mulligan said: "We're creating a permanent 24 hours service because this helpline provides invaluable support to women when they are very distressed and afraid.

"Support services are in place for anyone suffering abuse. "The message is clear: you're not alone and help is now available 24 hours a day."

Members of a 50-strong team of experts have dealt with about 25,000 calls since the 160,000 service was set up in 2000.

The Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline is available on the freephone number 0800 027 1234.


SEE ALSO:
Plea for domestic abuse victims
24 Jun 04  |  Scotland
Funding for rape crisis centres
23 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Abuse campaign to be widened
19 Feb 03  |  Scotland


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