Launch of Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline held in Fermanagh

Over 4,300 calls to Helpline In initial 3 months of operation

The Northern Ireland Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline was officially launched yesterday (Thursday 12 September 2019) in Fermanagh.

Earlier this year, a new three-year contract was awarded to Nexus NI to provide and manage a 24-hour Helpline for victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse from April 2019. The Helpline is often been the first step victims have taken in getting support.  The contract was awarded by the Department for Communities, the Department of Health and the Department of Justice.

The first three months (April – June 2019) saw the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline receiving over 4300 incoming phone calls.

Callers to the helpline were not only victims of Domestic or Sexual Abuse but those concerned about a child, friend or family members as well as health care professionals seeking advice.

Brenda Kelly, Chief Executive of Nexus NI says: “We are delighted that the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline has been able to support so many people in such a short space of time. Victims of domestic and sexual abuse can often feel isolated, with no one to turn to, so we are pleased that this Helpline has been able to give them the support that they need.  We want people to know they are not alone and help is a phone call away.  It is essential that as many people as possible have access to support. It is thanks to the work of our Helpline staff that we are able to provide such a caring and professional service and we look forward to developing the Helpline in the future. “  She added: “The helpline is a free and confidential service and people can get in touch by calling 0808 802 1414, emailing help@dsahelpline.org or by visiting https://dsahelpline.org. “

The launch event was held in Fermanagh House, Enniskillen and the event was hosted by the Fermanagh and Omagh Police and Community Safety Partnership. 

Claire Archbold, Director, Safer Communities, Department of Justice said; “The confidential 24 hour service is vital in providing information and support to those affected by domestic and sexual violence and abuse.  We know that for many the initial contact with the Helpline is the first step on the journey to secure protection and a safe environment free from fear and harm.  While the Department for Communities, Department of Health and the Department of Justice fund the Helpline, we also want to thank all those involved in providing this valuable service, providing a life line for some of the most vulnerable in our society.  Together with the work under the seven year Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy this further contributes to providing an effective collective response to incidents of domestic and sexual violence and abuse.”

Who are Nexus NI?

Nexus NI has 35 years’ experience offering a specialised professional counselling service to survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. Counselling offers a safe place to talk about your life and your feelings.

Nexus NI provides counselling sessions through its Enniskillen office as well as running a number of education programmes in the area.

For more information on Nexus NI and the work they do in the local area: contact the Belfast Office on 028 9032 6803 or email info@nexusni.org

The Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline can be contacted on 0808 802 1414, by emailing help@dsahelpline.org or by visiting https://dsahelpline.org

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For interview requests or more information, please contact: Catherine Lynn at Nexus NI on 07395285716 or email communications@nexusni.org

Notes to editors:

  • Nexus NI has 35 years’ experience offering a specialised professional counselling service to survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. Counselling offers a safe place to talk about your life and your feelings. For more information visit www.nexusni.org
  • Nexus NI delivered over 17,000 counselling sessions in the last year, helping more than 1,000 men, women and children to rebuild their lives
  • Nexus NI also facilitates a number of education programmes and projects across Northern Ireland. More information on these projects can be found at www.nexusni.org/education
  • Nexus NI also manages the new 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline in Northern Ireland.  The 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is funded by the Departments of Health, Justice & Communities and aims to offer support, help, signposting and referral to victims, family, friends and professionals. The helpline can be contacted on 0808 802 1414, by emailing help@dsahelpline.org or by visiting https://dsahelpline.org