• Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in the UK today
  • Almost 1 in every 3 women will experience domestic abuse in their life; 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales alone by a current or former partner
  • Multi-media campaign to make the Helpline famous on March 8th – celebrities support the campaign by donating their most famous asset – their names
  • 0808 2000 247 is a number all women should know – from today, Refuge and high-profile supporters are working to make this a reality 

From 10 am Sunday 8th March, International Women’s Day, notable women including Olivia Colman and Lorraine Kelly will be donating their fame to a multi-media campaign to make the National Domestic Abuse Helpline famous. 

Domestic abuse is the biggest issue impacting on women and children across the country today. Around one in three women will experience abuse during their lifetimes, but few reach out for help and support – remaining isolated and alone, living in daily fear of violence and abuse.  Today’s campaign shines an enormous spotlight on the issue bringing it from the shadows and into the limelight.

High-profile women will replace their famous names and Twitter photos with 0808 2000 247 – the Helpline number, a number all women should know. By leveraging the power of social media, and harnessing the collective force that women have when they come together behind one message, Twitter will be awash with the Helpline number so that every woman sees it.  

The Helpline number will also take over the largest advertising display in Europe – London’s prestigious Piccadilly Lights – at midday on the 8th of March, making the number unmissable. Adverts, fronted by Olivia Colman, will also run throughout the day on Sky and A+E Networks UK.

Sandra Horley, CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge says: “Refuge’s Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline is at the heart of how this country responds to domestic abuse – it is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of women across the country.

“A shocking two women are killed every week in England and Wales alone – leaving children without mother, parents without daughters, families without loved ones.  0808 2000 247 is a number that every woman should know. Today, International Women’s Day, Refuge and an amazing band of high-profile women will work to make this a reality. Women’s lives depend on it.”

Survivor Natasha Saunders, 31, who called the Helpline to access life-saving support, says: “I called the National Domestic Abuse Helpline after experiencing years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of my ex-husband. I was living in a prison and I needed to protect myself and my children. As I dialled the Helpline number, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pacing the kitchen, terrified my ex-husband might find out, but the Helpline worker was so understanding. She validated my concerns and she reminded me that I wasn’t alone – I could leave my abuser and with Refuge’s support, I could carve a new life for my family. In England and Wales alone, two women a week are killed by their partner or ex-partner. I could’ve quite easily been one of those statistics. If you’re suffering abuse, then so could you. Support from the Helpline is waiting; all you need to do is call.”

Lorraine Kelly said: “It is a disgrace that in 2020 we live in a world where so women experience domestic abuse – the numbers are shocking. No woman should live in fear. That needs to change – today.”

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