Full Stop Foundation, which raises funds for Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia, has launched Domestic Violence Impact Line, a free and confidential 24/7 telephone counselling line (1800 943 539) and online counselling service , following a $2 million donation from NRMA Insurance.
The national Domestic Violence Impact Line telephone and online counselling service was set up last year in response to the charity seeing a 36% increase in people reaching out for online counselling during COVID-19 lockdowns[i].
The service supports people experiencing domestic and family violence to access trauma specialist counsellors who can provide essential psychological support, guidance around creating safety plans, as well as essential information about how to seek legal advice and connect with the police to report an offence.
Federal government research[ii] also shows that the initial stages of COVID-19 – and subsequent lockdowns – coincided with the onset or escalation of violence and abuse for many women last year.
Full Stop Foundation spokesperson Helen Campbell said the new service will significantly increase the charity’s ability to support people impacted by the trauma of domestic and family violence in Australia, particularly women and their children.
“Domestic and family violence is not always physical or sexual but can also include verbal, psychological, financial and spiritual abuse. Helping people safely and discreetly access domestic violence support services is critical – particularly when their access to family and friends and other support networks may have been significantly impacted,” Ms Campbell said.
“The funding we received from NRMA Insurance has allowed us to create Domestic Violence Impact Line, a new telephone and online counselling service to ensure people have access to professional, highly experienced trauma specialist counsellors who can guide them through the psychological and practical complexities of experiencing domestic and family violence.
“This much-needed service provides continuity of care with trauma specialist counsellors, who have the expertise to gently build a relationship with each client and offer the right care and support.”
NRMA Insurance Acting Group Executive Direct Insurance Australia Amanda Whiting said the funds are helping to provide an essential service for those in need of support due to domestic and family violence.
“COVID-19 has meant many Australians have spent more time at home in the last year, and unfortunately for some, home hasn’t been a safe environment,” Ms Whiting said.
“The new Domestic Violence Impact Line from Full Stop Foundation provides people with greater options to access support and counselling, which is critical in ensuring those seeking help are able to do so in a way that’s safe and convenient for them.”
The NRMA Insurance funding, announced in June 2020, is part of the company’s ongoing program of work supporting initiatives that help make communities safer, more connected and resilient.
If you or someone you know needs support call the new Domestic Violence Impact Line on 1800 943 539 or access online counselling via https://www.rape-dvservices.org.au/
In July 2020, NRMA Insurance’s parent company IAG introduced its first Family and Domestic Violence Policy to help customers who may be affected by family and domestic violence. NRMA Insurance customers experiencing family and domestic violence can access https://www.nrma.com.au/fdv-assistance for more information on the support and resources available.
About Full Stop Foundation
The Full Stop Foundation is the fundraising arm of Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia. Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia is a non-profit organisation that provides 24/7 telephone, online and face-to-face counselling for those whose lives have been impacted by sexual, domestic and family violence. This counselling not only helps people recover from the trauma they are experiencing but provides practical support on preparing to leave violent situations, safety planning and referral to other services. The organisation also provides behaviour change counselling for those who use violence and a range of educational training programs to organisations, universities and workplaces to prevent this violence from happening in the first place.
To find out more or to make a donation visit www.fullstopfoundation.org.au
[i] Source: Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia / Full Stop Foundation ‘COVID-19 Emergency Appeal’ June 2020’
[ii] Source: Australian Government, Australian Institute of Criminology – The prevalence of domestic violence among women during the COVID-19 pandemic, July 2020