Press Release

10 December 2020

Refuge supporters unite to raise awareness of the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during 16 days of activism against gender violence

During 16 days of activism against gender violence, which runs from the 25 November to Human Rights Day on the 10 December, Refuge has worked with supporters and partners to raise life-saving awareness of the National Domestic Abuse Helpline and live chat.

Highlights include a new awareness video supported by Google, featuring celebrities from sectors as diverse as sports, music and activism, and an animated information video about the Helpline which was shared by supporters.

Refuge has also announced that 33 new helpline live chat advisers joined the service this week.

Lisa King, Director of Communications and External Relations at Refuge said that the awareness raising was only made possible through the dedication of front line staff:

“As 16 days of activism comes to a close, on Human Rights Day, Refuge is celebrating the incredible work of its Helpline staff and volunteers, who together ensure our life-saving and life-changing Helpline is able to support the women and children who need us round the clock. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year our expert staff support women who are experiencing abuse, as well as their concerned family and friends.

The Covid-19 crisis saw our Helpline workers respond to more calls and contacts than ever – helping women and children find safety, and get the information they need to make the decisions that are right for them. With the pandemic and lockdown minimising the opportunities for women to pick up the phone Refuge moved quickly to digitise the Helpline service, to make sure women could access the support they need it; in secret, in safety and in real time.

In May, we launched our new ‘live chat’ service, and since then, our trained staff have had more than 2,000 live chat conversations with women experiencing domestic abuse or concerned family / friends. To meet this demand and support yet more women in crisis, this week we have had 33 new ‘live chatters’ start work, meaning 33 more expertly trained women are able to offer support and information to abused women when they need us. We’ve been able to speak to women in their homes during lockdown, while they are at work on a lunchbreak, while they are on the bus home.

We want every woman experiencing abuse today to know – if you need help, you are not alone, Refuge is here for you.”

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.


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.