Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline sees 25% increase in calls



New figures released today by Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (SDAFMH) show a 25% increase in the volume of calls to the helpline support in the year 2018-19.

The statistics have revealed that within the last year, call handlers dealt with 3,191 contacts. A total of 95% of these contacts were from women seeking support, or from someone calling on their behalf.

The majority of people got in touch to discuss domestic abuse, either current or historic. However, there were 27 calls about forced marriage – the same number as last year.

The figures come as part of SDAFMH’s 2018-19 Annual Report, published today (Monday 9th December 2019).

The report outlines several milestones the Helpline reached in the past year, including achieving the Helplines Partnership Accreditation and the successful bid to the Scottish Government for a further five years of funding for the Helpline - two years confirmed and the possibility of three more years funding provided all targets are met.

SADFMH introduced a user feedback survey in 2018-19 and feedback found that 100% of callers got what they needed from the Helpline. When asked how supportive and respectful call handlers were, 100% of callers gave the service a five out of five rating.

One caller said: “That really helped, hearing out loud what I’ve been thinking but have been too scared to take any action about. Thank you!”

Reflecting on the past year of delivering the SDAFMH, Lydia Okroj, helpline manager, said: “This has been the busiest and most challenging, but by far the most rewarding, year of managing SDAFMH. As well as responding to a significant rise in call volume, we were successful in our bid to the Scottish Government for the contract to provide the Helpline for the next five years and in our application for the Helplines Standards Accreditation.

“Both of these achievements speak to the quality of support provided by Helpline staff and I am confident that anyone who calls will receive the best possible service.

“For those experiencing domestic abuse or forced marriage, we are often the first point of contact after a long time building up the courage to speak out. It is a privilege to be that person on the other end of the phone, listening non-judgementally and offering expert information and support.

“I am incredibly proud of the team who have worked so hard over the past year, and look forward to continuing to develop our service in partnership with like-minded organisations in the year ahead.”



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