The Women’s Aid Helpline is a highly valued and vital resource. It is the only service of its kind in Northern Ireland. It helps thousands of women in crisis each year. There have been 78,265 calls to the Helpline since it was established in 1995.
Calls to the
Helpline have continued to increase this financial year. We note a
12% increase on last year’s figures with a total of 17,580 calls
received throughout the year. The primary source of calls is women
in crisis. The second key constituency of Helpline users is
statutory services working in the domestic violence field –
primarily police officers and social workers. Health visitors,
social workers and health care professionals use the Helpline as a
means of increasing support to the women and families with whom they
work. Secure funding from a variety of sources is vital to support
both women in crisis and the agencies working with them. In the year
2002/2003 the highest proportion of calls came from the Greater
Belfast area. However, there was an increase in calls from rural
areas, especially the North Down and Ards, Lisburn, Downpatrick and
Ballymena area. Analysis of calls statistics reveal that the further
prospective callers are from Belfast, the less likely they are to
call the Helpline.
referred 482 women and 645 children to Women’s Aid refuges from
April 2002-March 2003.
Last year, the local Women’s Aid groups accommodated
989 women and 1,112 children in refuges throughout Northern Ireland.
They responded to at least 14,307 telephone requests for advice and
information. At least 4,451 women used their local Women’s Aid group
for non-accommodation support such as; court accompaniment;
aftercare; one-one; attending courses; and drop-in sessions.
For more information download our PDF version of the 2002/2003 Annual Report