Crisis line to take text message supports

What is 1800 RESPECT? The crisis support line will now offer a text message service for those seeking support.
What is 1800 RESPECT? 

The 24/7 crisis line for domestic, family and sexual violence is now providing support over text messages.

From today, 1800 RESPECT has expanded its pre-existing services (over-the-phone and online chat support) to include a text messaging service.

The Federal Government said the text line will offer a discreet and flexible avenue of crisis support.

What is 1800 RESPECT?

The 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 web messages.

Text messages

Before its rollout today, a trial of the text messaging service proved it was an effective support option for some victim-survivors.

For example, one woman who used the service was unable to speak due to injuries caused by her partner. Over text, 1800 RESPECT helped her seek emergency accommodation support.

Counsellors also used texts to advise contacts about coercive control behaviours and to make referrals to child protection services.

How will it work?

Once a victim-survivor texts the service, they will receive a series of automated texts and questions before being connected to a counsellor.

Users will be 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 a text exchange. Any message that isn’t replied to within six minutes will trigger an end to the conversation.

The Government said the expansion of 1800 RESPECT meets the objectives under its 10-year national plan to end violence against women and children.

Federal Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the service would “provide greater choice for people to seek support when they need it most, and empower users to reach out via a channel that best suits their circumstances”.

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

1800 RESPECT [TEXT]: 0458 737 732

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