Press Release

1 December 2020

Refuge launches National Domestic Abuse Helpline digital animation #16Days

Refuge launches digital animation on what to expect when calling its National Domestic Abuse Helpline as part of the UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence

Today, during the UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, Refuge launches a new digital animation to reach abused women who may need to access support from its National Domestic Abuse Helpline. The animation forms part of Refuge’s ongoing campaign to share the Helpline number and live chat resources with as many women as possible.  As we live through a second lockdown, more women than ever are experiencing domestic abuse and are isolated and alone with their perpetrators for long periods of time. Right now their need for support may be greater than ever.


Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline is free of charge and runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It is a confidential and non-judgmental service, run by a close-knit team of highly trained women. Helpline advisers will never tell a woman what to do, but will give her space to talk about what is happening to her, provide her with emotional support and information on her rights and options. The expert team will help her access other services, like legal advice and support, counselling and mental health support, and housing options such as refuge accommodation.


The carefully created warm, engaging and reassuring animation gives information on the different ways to get in touch with the Helpline, providing critical information for women whose safe window for making contact may have narrowed due to lockdown. If it is not safe to speak, women may wish to use our newly-extended live chat service, which operates online via from Monday to Friday, 3-10pm. Refuge knows that making contact can feel daunting for women, it may be the first time they’ve ever spoken to someone about what is happening to them. It is important for them to feel as comfortable as possible when reaching out for help, which is why the Helpline offers an  interpretation service so women can speak to advisers in their own language.


Lisa King, Director of Communications and External Relations at Refuge said:

“The latest statistics from ONS showed that 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse last year alone, and we know that reports of domestic abuse increased significantly during the first lockdown. We want all women to know that domestic abuse services, including the Helpline, are still available and waiting to hear from them. The Helpline is for all women, whether they are still in a relationship with their perpetrator, thinking about leaving, or are worried about a loved one. No matter how big or small their question is, whatever their age, background, beliefs or experience, the Helpline is ready and waiting to hear from them. We hope that people will watch and share our animation far and wide – to do so will save lives.”


If you need to access support, please contact Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline (freephone) on 0808 2000 247. Or visit to fill in a web form and request a safe time to be contacted, or to access live chat facility between the hours of 3-10pm Monday-Friday.



Animation link:

For more information contact the press office on  0207 395 7731 or email

Refuge encourages all media outlets to signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, for free and confidential support, 24 hours a day,  call 0808 2000 247 or visit to access live chat.