More than 1,000 after-hours calls have been made to a specialised out-of-hours DV crisis line, a vital new support made possible by a Liberal Government funding boost.
Last year, the Liberal Government committed $1.66 million to the SA Domestic Violence Crisis Line, enabling it to operate 24/7.
Since the service was extended to 24 hours in late November, through to the end of February, a total of 1266 calls were received between the hours of 5pm and 9am.
Previously, the free and confidential state-wide hotline had only been able to afford to operate 9am to 5pm on weekdays, with calls outside of those hours diverted to a homelessness service.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Liberal Government’s funding boost had allowed more people to receive help from a team of specialised domestic violence counsellors when they need it most.
“The figures speak for themselves and the volume of after-hours calls sadly shows how crucial the need for a 24/7 service is,” said Minister Lensink."
“In January alone, there were more than 480 after-hours calls made to the crisis line."
“It is often difficult for people to make these calls. It can be hard for people to reach out for help after suffering abuse, and it can be difficult to find a time that is safe to do so."
“Family violence typically peaks around Christmas. This may be due to families over this period facing extra financial stress increased alcohol consumption, difficult relationships with extended family, access to children in separated families or decisions about where to spend holidays."
“It is reassuring to know that people can make a call to this crisis line whenever they need to and not be confined to business hours.”
The counsellors provide immediate advice to people feeling unsafe and work one-on-one with them to create a safety plan.
Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said she urged anyone in a critical situation to access the crisis line on 1800 800 089.
“If you are living in an abusive relationship and want to leave or don’t know where to turn, call the domestic violence crisis line for help,” said Assistant Minister Power.
“At any hour of the day or night, specialised counsellors are available to determine what immediate assistance can be provided, such as facilitating access to safe accommodation and supporting callers to remain safely in their own homes.
“The crisis line is there to assist people experiencing domestic and family violence but remember if you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call for police assistance on
“The Liberal Government will continue to do whatever we can to ensure all South Australians can feel safe, supported and know where to turn to for help.”
Women’s Safety Services SA Director of Services Ginny Cisneros said the volume of calls since the crisis line became a 24-hour service highlights the need for it.
“While we advise that women should call 000 if they are in the middle of an emergency, the Domestic Violence Crisis Line helps anyone at risk to plan for safety and be linked to other vital services including police, legal, housing and financial assistance,” said Ms Cisneros."
“You are not alone, and help is only ever a phone call away. No matter what time of day, there is a service available that can provide you with specialised support and advice.”
DV Crisis Line after hours calls
26th to 30th November: 66 calls received
December: 318 calls received
January: 484 calls received
February: 398 calls received
Total calls received during this period: 1266