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WA’s regional domestic violence helpline extends its hours

DVassist has extended the operating hours for its confidential helpline to 10pm weeknights to support anyone in rural, regional, or remote Western Australia experiencing family and domestic violence.

The move will provide greater flexibility and access for people wanting to speak to a professional family and domestic violence counsellor who understands the unique challenges that can face people living in regional communities.

DVassist Executive Officer, Esther Schwald, said extending the service to 10pm meant support and information would be available during the evening, which is typically the busiest times for helplines across Australia.

“This is especially true for people seeking support for family and domestic violence who may find the only opportunity to speak on the phone is when they are preparing dinner, and the kids are occupied, or after 8pm when most of the family is in front of the television or sleeping,” she said.

 “It’s often the time of day when people living with violence experience the most worry and anxiety, are struggling to sleep or trying to mentally recover.”

Ms Schwald said people living in regional, remote, and rural WA could call DVassist for a one-off conversation or as part of a series of therapeutic counselling sessions.

Calls to DVassist have grown steadily since the telephone counselling service first launched in October last year.

Visitors to the specialist family and domestic violence organisation’s website with its online directory of services, information, and checklists are also on the rise.

“As word about our services spread through regional communities, more and more people are reaching out,” said Ms Schwald.

“Whether it’s you or someone you love who’s experiencing family or domestic violence, we can talk to you no matter where you are or what you are doing.”

DVassist’s helpline is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm.

Free-call 1800 080 083.

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