1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732 National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service for people living in Australia
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Aims of the Service
To provide a best practice, professional telephone and online, crisis and trauma counselling service 24 hours a day, 7 days per week
To assist people experiencing the effects of sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. It is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Domestic and family violence is one of the greatest challenges in Australian society.
- One in four Australian women has experienced sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner
- Domestic violence is the most significant burden of disease for women aged 15 to 44
- Without action, violence against women is estimated to cost to the Australian economy $15.6 billion in 2021-22.
Alarmingly, while the rates of most other violent crime are decreasing, incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault continue to rise.
Launched in October 2010, 1800RESPECT provides high quality support for people experiencing, or at risk of, sexual or domestic violence; their family and friends; and frontline workers and professionals.
1800RESPECT is delivered by Medibank Health Services on behalf of the Federal Government Department of Social Services as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. It is the only national service of its kind and it is designed to ensure victims of domestic and family violence and their families can access counselling, information, and support when and where they need it.
Staffed by professional counsellors with a minimum of a three year tertiary degree in relevant fields and no less than two years’ full time counselling experience, the 1800RESPECT model enables callers to be answered immediately and transferred to the service they need. Thanks to this approach, 80 percent of calls are answered within an estimated 20 seconds, ensuring women who call 1800RESPECT get the help they need, when they need it. Callers also have full access to specialist trauma counsellors.
As well as the hotline, the 1800RESPECT website has information for women and their family and friends, as well as a web portal to help frontline workers identify and support victims of domestic and family violence. The portal contains valuable resources and information, as well as useful referral information and resources to support workers in dealing with cases of sexual and domestic violence. 1800RESPECT also offers an app – Daisy – that connects women to a wide range of specialist support services in their state or local area.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au. For more information about a service in your state or local area, download the Daisy app in the App Store or Google Play.
 Victorian Burden of Disease Study: Mortality and morbidity. Department of Health & Human Services. State Government of Victoria. 2001
 Estimated costs of domestic (intimate partner) and non-domestic (non-intimate partner) violence against women and their children by category, by 2021-22, without appropriate action. “The cost of violence against women and their children.” DSS. March, 2009.
Improvements to the 1800RESPECT service
By the end of August 2016, 1800RESPECT will implement a new First Response model, as recommended by an independent review, to reduce call wait times and abandonment rates.
Over the past year, there has been a significant spike in demand for 1800RESPECT and in 2015, callers experienced long wait times and there were high abandonment rates, which saw many women hanging up before their call was answered.
As demand for the service continued to increase, 1800RESPECT needed to evolve to ensure the service provides a high quality service that is responsive to callers.
About the new model
The new 1800RESPECT First Response model is designed to reduce call wait times and abandonment rates while maintaining the exceptional quality of the service. Calls will be answered by professional counsellors with a minimum of a three year tertiary degree in relevant fields and no less than two years’ full-time counselling experience as well as ongoing face to face training and supervision. The new model enables callers to be answered immediately and to receive the service, referral or information they need.
Thanks to this approach, 80 percent of calls are expected to be answered within an estimated 20 seconds, ensuring women who call 1800RESPECT get the help they need, when they need it. Callers will also continue to have full access to specialist trauma counsellors but in a more timely manner than in the past.
Successfully transitioning to a new model requires the experience and knowledge of experts across many sectors, which is why 1800RESPECT has created the Implementation Clinical Advisory Group (ICAG).
ICAG will inform and support the development of a well-prepared and sustainable clinical framework and delivery model for the 1800RESPECT First Response model. The Group will also include experts from throughout Australia in different areas of the sexual assault, domestic and family violence sectors.
The National Plan
The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the National Plan) was released in February 2011 and brings together the efforts of governments across the nation to make a real and sustained reduction in the levels of violence against women. The National Plan targets two main types of violence: domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
About Medibank Health Solutions
Medibank Health Solutions delivers a range of innovative health care solutions for corporate Australia and government. More information about Medibank Health Solutions can be found on their website at http://www.medibankhealth.com.au
About Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia
Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (formerly NSW Rape Crisis Centre) is a non-government, not-for-profit service which has been assisting those who have experienced sexual assault in NSW for the past 40 years. More information about Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia can be found on their website at http://www.rape-dvservices.org.au/