Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000


Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline (08 088 088 088) is an independent charity with 16 years' experience of referring and signposting callers to over 170 local and national support organisations which work to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and domestic abuse. It is the only Helpline in the county and has access to Language Line if English is not the caller's first language.

Domestic abuse affects an estimated 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men at some point in their lifetime, and, never to be forgotten, all of their children. This can have a profound impact on those young lives as well. That is why it is so vital to break the cycle early, by reaching out to the next generation, helping children and young people to develop healthy relationships, deal with their emotions and challenge the way some behave towards each other. The message for all generations in our community is clear. Domestic abuse is never acceptable.

The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline provides a secure and confidential free to caller gateway to respond to all issues of controlling, coercive, or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional including honour-based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Open 7 days a week - Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and weekends 9am to 4pm, the Helpline receives more than 2000 calls a year. The Helpline is answered by highly trained volunteers who are non-judgmental and sensitive to the needs of the individual caller, including all victims, friends and family, professionals and those concerned about their behaviour to others, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age or disability.

The Helpline works in conjunction with Herts Sunflower, the umbrella group for domestic abuse organisations in Hertfordshire, and contributes to the delivery of the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Strategy, to ensure that victims and families impacted by abuse can access services to help prevent escalation into a crisis. In providing locally tailored advice and support, the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline puts victims at the centre, providing more resilience, confidence and trust for those affected to seek help and move forward to rebuild lives.

There is clear evidence of the public need for the Helpline to provide such a vital service to benefit all those affected within our Hertfordshire community. Domestic violence and domestic abuse now account for a staggering 15% of all crime reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary. These figures continue to trend higher year on year, with increasing public confidence to report incidents to the Police, as victims see evidence that domestic abuse is being investigated and acted upon. Outcomes, however, are not always satisfactory, but tackling domestic violence and abuse remains a key Government priority. After the June 2017 General Election, Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed that she will directly oversee the creation of new laws in England and Wales, to deliver a system that increases convictions and works better for victims.

Key to the continued success of the Helpline is ongoing training and recruitment of volunteers, in sufficient numbers, to ensure whenever a call is made during operational hours, we are able to provide the professional support that victims and families so desperately need. In this application, we seek additional funding to assist in acquiring the necessary teaching materials and aids for still more volunteers. The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline will then be better placed to deliver our community based service to the full.

Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline

The Helpline is answered by volunteers and the Trustees also all give of their time for free. Knowing that up to to 75% of all domestic abuse incidents take place when children are present, or in the home, fuels the dedication to continue to provide and secure this vital service for our community.

Location: Hertfordshire, United Kingdom