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07 May 2020

New domestic abuse out of hours helpline goes live tomorrow

Victims of domestic abuse or those worried that someone may be suffering in silence will have access to an out of hours helpline from tomorrow (8 May 2020).

The joint initiative between Wiltshire Council and Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service will ensure people can get access to help and support at any time day or night.

Wiltshire Council has supported the initiative with the out of hours helpline being available to cover evenings/ weekends and bank holidays from 5pm 9am. The new service will start at 5pm on 8 May 2020. The helpline number is 01793 610 610

This will complement the Splitz Support Service which currently runs through the working week from 8am to 5pm on 01225 775276

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Protection said: "We are serious about tackling domestic abuse and no one should suffer in silence. This is why we are investing in this service which means we have 24/7 cover in Wiltshire and people can reach out and access that support.

"We ask residents to be our eyes and ears in our communities and contact us if they have any concerns. Domestic abuse affects families and we know children suffer as a result. We are all having to live in very challenging times but the support is still out there."

Emma Rawlings CEO of Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service said "We are delighted to be working with Wiltshire Council offering this much needed service and are proud to be able to extend the support and advice we provide in Swindon, across the county. People can speak to the service in absolute confidence, we are non-judgmental and will work with you for the best outcome."

Calls to Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service are answered by a trained advisor and never by a recorded message

The service offers support to female, male, LBGTQ+ and those just wanting advice regarding a friend or family member.

Rachel Wetton Head of Service Wiltshire for Splitz Support Service said: "Splitz are delighted to see this new service, for domestic abuse victims in Wiltshire, to receive advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We want anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse, their family and friends and other agencies to know that support is still available despite Covid 19.

"Anyone who wants to leave an abusive relationship can do so even during lockdown and Splitz can help you to do this safely. We can also help you stay safer in your own home. You can refer to our service 24 hours a day online or email us with safe contact details at spa@splitz.org as well as telephoning us during office hours on 01225 775276."

Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson said: "This is great news that both Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service and Splitz can join their valuable resources together to allow the new out of hours' helpline to go ahead during these unusual times.

"Domestic Abuse is an awful situation for anyone to have to deal with and both Splitz and Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service, along with other partners and the police, work hard to continually support and help people who suffer at the hands of perpetrators. 

"This helpline has come at a vital time when some women and men are having to spend more time with an abusive partner.

 "Domestic Abuse can happen day or night, so it's good to know that anyone across Wiltshire can access this service at any time.   

 "If it can help protect more victims and also help those who abuse, then it would have done its job."

Last updated: 7 May 2020 | Last reviewed: 7 May 2020

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