A three-year contract to operate a 24-hour helpline service for victims of domestic and sexual abuse across Northern Ireland will come into effect from next week.
Interim Chief Executive of Nexus NI Karen Gallagher says there is a way out of abusive relationships.
And she has encouraged people who may be experiencing domestic or sexual abuse to take the next step and get help.
The new three-year contract has been awarded to Nexus NI to provide and manage the 24 hour helpline service from next week.
The service will be operational from Monday, April 1, and will be known as the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline.
The contract was awarded by the Department for Communities, the Department of Health and the Department of Justice.
Ms Gallagher said: “Domestic and sexual abuse knows no boundaries. No gender, age-group, no sexual orientation, no class or creed is immune from attacks and abuse.
“For any man or woman, young or old, the fully trained staff at the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline are there to listen and offer support and advice 24 hours a day, every day.
“Victims of domestic and sexual abuse can often feel isolated, with no one to turn to, so we are pleased that this helpline can continue to give them the support that they need.
“We want people to know they are not alone and help is a phone call away. It is essential that as many people as possible have access to support to ensure the right measures are being taken to keep them and their families safe.”
The helpline is a completely free and confidential service and you can get in touch by calling 0808 802 1414.
The helpline was previously run by Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland, who will continue to manage the existing service until March 31.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We would like to thank Women’s Aid for their successful running of the helpline and would like to pay tribute to the staff and volunteers who have provided a vital and high quality service for victims of domestic and sexual abuse allowing a smooth transition with the continued use of the helpline telephone number.”
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