safe steps set to start delivering 1800RESPECT trauma counselling

safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is proud to have entered into a collaborative agreement with DVConnect Queensland and Women’s Safety Services South Australia, to provide the specialist trauma-informed counselling component of the 1800RESPECT national family violence and sexual assault helpline from October 29, 2017.

As of midnight Sunday 29 October, all 1800RESPECT callers seeking counselling support will be connected with, and assisted by, specialist trauma counsellors employed by safe steps or one of the interstate panel provider organisations.

As Victoria’s only state-wide 24/7 family violence response service, and with over 40 years’ experience in the family violence sector, safe steps has extensive experience providing trauma-informed specialist support for survivors of family violence.

safe steps CEO Annette Gillespie says having safe steps provide 1800RESPECT trauma-informed counselling services is a natural fit, particularly as it forms part of safe steps’ suite of recovery services.

safe steps has long been a leader in supporting survivors with a lived experience of family violence. Ensuring the physical and emotional safety of the women and children we assist is at the very core of everything safe steps does.

“Partnering to provide trauma-informed counselling services through 1800RESPECT is simply an extension of what safe steps has always done – help women and children to live safe, secure and free from the effects of violence.

“We will be drawing upon our broad experience and expertise to assist and support callers to 1800RESPECT. We are deeply committed to providing a survivor-centered, holistic response to all women calling the 1800RESPECT helpline.

“The physical and emotional safety of women and children is at the centre of everything safe steps does. This has always been, and will continue to be, our priority”, says Ms Gillespie.

safe steps’ qualified counsellors will ensure callers to 1800RESPECT get the specialist support they need, when they need it.”

Over the past year, staff from safe steps, DVConnect and Women’s Safety Services have all worked closely with Medibank Health Solutions to refine a world-class, comprehensive family violence response training and service model that ensures survivors receive the highest quality service possible to help them to a position of safety.

As always, callers can be assured the information they share will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and their privacy will be assured. Under the model, callers can remain anonymous, withhold identifying information such as their birthdate or surname, and ask for their call to not be recorded.

safe steps will continue to provide its existing core family violence response services, including its 24/7 phone line, as well as counselling services through 1800RESPECT.

“Needless to say, the dedication, skills and standards that we apply in the delivery of our existing state-based service and programs, we will bring to our work with 1800RESPECT,” says Ms Gillespie.


If you or someone you care about is living with an abusive partner or family member, call safe steps Family Violence Response Centre 24/7 on 1800 015 188.