Media Release: Help us listen, believe and support women - Women’s Aid needs volunteers for the 24hr National Freephone Helpline.

25 Jul 2017

  • Women’s Aid now recruiting for volunteers for our 24hr National Freephone Helpline.
  • We need warm, empathic women to join volunteer team
  • Full training and ongoing support provided.

Tuesday 25th July 2017: Women’s Aid is currently recruiting for volunteers for its 24hr National Freephone Helpline with the next round of training starting in September.  The Helpline provides a listening ear, practical information and emotional support to women affected by domestic violence.  The organisation is looking for women, aged 18 and over to play a key role on the Helpline which supports those experiencing abuse in Ireland.  The volunteers will join a team of committed and dynamic volunteers and develop an understanding of domestic violence through in-depth training and continued vital support while volunteering on the Helpline

Linda Smith, Manager of the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline says:

“Our Helpline volunteers are committed and dedicated women whose contribution to Women's Aid is vital to the high quality support and information that Women's Aid provides to those who ring our Helpline.  For many of those who contact the Helpline, the volunteer who answers the phone may be the first person they have told about their abuse. It may have taken years to finally speak about their experience."

Emma, a volunteer on the National Freephone Helpline, says of her experience volunteering for Women’s Aid:

“If a woman calls Women’s Aid, she knows that we will believe her straight away. We are not going to tell her what to do. If she wants options, we will give them to her, but it is her decision.  I gain far more than I give on the helpline. Far, far more. The women are just incredible. When you think that the objective of a perpetrator is to erode all of a woman’s self-esteem, to make her feel worthless. In the face of all that pressure most of us would be at our worst; these women somehow find the strength to do incredible things, so I’m just inspired by them.”

Linda Smith adds:

“It’s essential that the woman who answers that call is able to listen to and support the caller, as well as provide them with accurate and appropriate information. The response they receive from the volunteer can mean that calling the Helpline is the first step in the journey to a life free of abuse.  Helpline volunteers give support in a non-judgmental, non-directive approach, and work from the model of self-help and mutual aid. This model of work is about empowering callers to make their own decisions rather than about "helping" them.” 

In-depth training is provided over an 8 week period and ongoing mentoring and support is part of the Volunteer programme at Women’s Aid. 

The deadline for applications is 4th August 2017 and more information can be found at https://www.womensaid.ie/services/helpline/volunteer.html

The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1 800 341 900, is open 7 days a week. www.womensaid.ie

 

Ends

For more information contact: Christina Sherlock, Women’s Aid, Head of Communications and Fundraising, Tel: 087 919 2457 or email Christina.sherlock@womensaid.ie

Information for producers/editors:

  • About Women’s Aid: Women's Aid is the national organisation providing support and information to women experiencing domestic violence through its Direct Services. It runs the only free, national, domestic violence helpline (1800 341 900, 24 hours, 7 days) with specialised trained staff & volunteers, accredited by the Helplines Partnership and with a Telephone Interpretation Service covering 170 languages for callers needing interpreting services as well as a Text Service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing women. Women's Aid also offers a Dublin-based One to One Support Service and Court Accompaniment Service and runs the Dolphin House Support and Referral Service in the Dublin District Family Law Court (in partnership with Dublin 12 Domestic Violence Service and Inchicore Outreach Centre.)
  • The Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline is a 24/7 service and responds to 44 calls a day.
  • There were 19,115 contacts with Women’s Aid Direct Services including the 24hr National Freephone Helpline and Dublin Based One to One Support Services.  During these contacts, 16,946 disclosures of domestic violence against women were noted.  There were an additional 3,823 disclosures of child abuse made (20,769 in total).