New sexual violence helpline in demand

The text messaging option of 1800 Respect has seen significant demand within one month of launching, TDA has learned.
1800 Respect text messaging

TDA exclusive: A new feature of the national domestic, family and sexual violence support service has received significant demand since launching last month.

1800 Respect launched a text messaging service in December to provide discreet support for users who might not feel safe to call the crisis line.

The service has received over 800 text requests in its first month, with demand expected to continue growing.

1800 Respect text messaging option

The Federal Government launched the national domestic violence support helpline in 2010.

1800 Respect pairs callers with trained counsellors who provide information on domestic, family and sexual violence, and connects callers with other services.

During the 2022/23 financial year, 1800 Respect answered almost 270,000 calls or online messages.

Text messaging service

1800 Respect launched its text message channel following a successful trial of the system last year.

It’s reported consistent daily uptake of the service since December.

The Government said data suggests the text channel may have assisted new users who avoided over-the-phone support due to fears of their conversation being overheard by children or a violent person in their home.

How does the text message system work?

Once a person texts the service (0458 737 732), they’re sent a series of automated prompts before being connected to a counsellor.

Users are given the option to conduct a safety check of their device, including prompts about the password, privacy and location settings of their phone.

Users can text STOP or X to end an exchange. Any message that isn’t replied to within six minutes will trigger an end to the conversation.

1800 Respect text users have sought counselling, advice and support for personal needs like emergency accommodation.

A rollout of ads promoting the text message service is anticipated later this year, which is expected to lead to increased demand for the support.

1800 RESPECT (call): 1800 737 732

1800 RESPECT (text): 0458 737 732

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