To speak to trained helpline workers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Anyone can call the helpline. They will help you regardless of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, nationality or background.
A confidential translation service is available.
What happens when you call the helpline?
- Firstly, you’ll be given some recorded information about the helpline. You will then be given three options – press 1 if you are a woman or calling on behalf of a woman, press 2 if you are a man or calling on behalf of a man, and press 3 for non-binary and other gender identities.
- We will always listen to and believe you.
- Your call will always be answered by a trained specialist, who understands the dynamics of domestic abuse and forced marriage.
- We will give you space to talk and work to understand your concerns, without judging you, and without trying to tell you what you should do, or pushing you into any decisions, for example reporting to the police.
- We will provide you with relevant information and support, depending on what you need, and will let you know about other services that may be able to help.
- We will treat you fairly and respectfully.
- We won’t share what you tell us, unless we believe that we have to in exceptional circumstances. For example, if we believed that someone’s life was in immediate danger, or that a child or vulnerable adult was at risk of serious harm.
- We can speak to you in your preferred language through a confidential interpreting service. We will ask you to hold or arrange to call you back so we can get an interpreter on the line.
- If you have a hearing or speech difficulty, you can call us using a text relay service such as Relay UK. British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us through Contact Scotland BSL.
- Please note: for safety, we need express permission from an individual in order for us to call them; we do not accept requests to call someone else. If you are concerned about a friend, family member etc., you can pass on our details so they can contact us themselves. You are also welcome to call us yourself to discuss your concerns.
We will always try to answer as soon as possible, whether you choose to get in touch by phone, web chat, or email. Phone and web chat are the quickest ways to reach us, but at busy times your call or web chat may be held in a queue. If you are phoning us, you will have the option to leave us a voicemail or wait on the line.
If you choose to leave us a voicemail, we will call you back within two hours or as near as possible to another time that you have requested.
We will answer emails to the helpline as soon as possible and within a maximum of two days.
The police will help and protect you when you report domestic abuse. To report to the police you can call 101 for non-emergency contact or call 999 if you are in immediate danger.
If you are unable to talk on the phone, you can use the silent solution.
- put you in touch with a specially-trained domestic abuse officer and support agencies
- help you feel safe – taking you to a refuge, or making your own home secure
- get you medical treatment if you’re injured
- The police will need to gather the details of your story and investigate fully.
- interview you – you can ask for a female or male officer
- detain your partner/ex-partner, interviewing them if a crime is established
- advise you on your next steps – and what’s happening with your partner/ex-partner
- with your permission, refer you to local aid services for practical and emotional support
- With enough evidence, the police will arrest your partner/ex-partner.
If it’s likely your case will result in criminal charges, you’ll be introduced to a Victim Information and Advice (VIA) officer who will:
- keep you updated on the progress of your case
- give you information about the criminal justice system
- tell you what steps have been taken to protect you
- put you in touch with support organisations who can help you
- Tell the police immediately if you feel you’re being harassed or intimidated for having reported domestic abuse.
Support in court
If you’re asked to give court evidence, you’ll be entitled to special measures like:
- giving evidence via a live TV link
- screens which stop you having to see someone else involved in the case
- a supporter staying with you while you give evidence
- You can ask for information about your case at any point.
- You have rights to support, information and advice at all stages of the criminal justice system – from reporting the crime to going to court.
Can I drop charges at a later date?
No. Once the details of the crime have been passed to the Procurator Fiscal, it’s up to them to decide whether to proceed with the case. You can let the Procurator Fiscal know if you have any concerns.
How to use the Silent Solution
You may be in a position or situation where you are unable to communicate verbally with the emergency service provider.
Make yourself known by coughing or tapping
Press 55 for silent system