Day Thirteen: offering support in 170 languages

Posted on December 07, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Day 13

The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline is accessible to women in 170 different languages. The telephone interpretation service allows women with limited or no English experiencing domestic violence to access free, confidential telephone support.

The telephone interpretation service allows women who are often extremely isolated due to language barriers to access support.

It is provided by an accredited and professional interpreter service located outside the country, ensuring the confidentiality and anonymity of the service. The service is available throughout the normal opening hours of the helpline 10am-10pm, 7 days a week.

An example of the lifeline that the interpretation service provides comes from an early user of the service:

Maria*, who had married an Irish man several months previously and come to Ireland knowing no-one and speaking no English, disclosed experiencing serious abuse. She felt scared for her life and alone. On calling the Women's Aid Helpline, she was connected with a translator and was immediately able to speak with a support worker who understood her situation and had information on appropriate services to support her. After a few calls to our service she went on to access refuge accommodation where she found safety and support.

Women's Aid would like to thank the Women's Fund of Ireland for their support of this initiative.

Online information in 8 languages

Research shows that minority ethnic women experiencing domestic violence face additional barriers to seeking help and living lives free of violence. These barriers include the lack of accessible information and support services in different languages.

Therefore, with support from the HSE Social Inclusion Unit, key sections of the Women's Aid website are translated into eight different languages - Arabic, Chinese, French, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Irish. Leaflets about Women's Aid services and domestic violence are also distributed in the most of the same languages.

The translated information available online includes sections on types of abuse, warning signs of an abusive relationship, information on safety planning and detailed information about Women's Aid services.

How to access the Telephone Interpretation Service:

If English is not your first language, we can help you.

The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline can offer support women in over 170 languages through our Telephone Interpretation Service.

If you would like to speak to us call the Helpline on 1800 341 900 (open 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week):

  • Tell us what language you speak.
  • We will ask you to hold. This process takes a few minutes. Please wait until we comes back to you.
  • We will connect you with an interpreter.
  • The interpreter will then help you to speak to us in your own language.

This service is free and confidential.

For more information visit

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