A national women’s helpline is a service provided specifically to serve only, or predominantly, women victims of violence.
Standards set out in the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) provide that a women’s helpline should operate 24/7, should be free of charge, should provide advice to callers confidentially or with due regard for their anonymity, and should serve victims of all forms of violence against women.
The women’s helpline should operate nationally and provide adequate support to women from all regions; this means that the staff must be properly trained, have effective communication skills, and be knowledgeable about the regional situations and all relevant provisions.
See also: victim; survivor
WAVE/Austrian Women’s Shelter Network (2014). The WAVE Report 2014: Specialized Women’s Support Services and New Tools for Combating Gender-based Violence in Europe. Available at: http://test.wave-network.org/content/wave-publications