A Sheffield domestic abuse helpline that took more than 2,000 calls this year is extending its hours in 2017.
The service, run by Action Domestic Abuse Services and funded by Sheffield Council, allows people to speak to specialist workers who can listen and offer advice and information for abuse victims.
As a result of its effectiveness this year, the helpline hours will be extended in the new year. Starting on January 3, it will run from 8am Monday to Friday.
It is also open on weekdays during the Christmas period, from 8am to 6pm, except on bank holidays.
Rosy, from Sheffield – not her real name – suffered 13 years of abuse from her then husband, and was left in a wheelchair as a result.
She urged other victims to make the most of the helpline and the support on offer in the city.
“Don’t suffer in silence. I did because I didn’t know where to go, but there’s always someone there to help.
“I grew up without a dad so I knew what it was like not to have one. So I just put up with it but then he hit my five-year-old son, and that was that.
“When we started off we were great together. But he was a drinker and things changed after we got married. He used to say that I put on certain tops or skirts just to make men look at me.
“He beat me so badly that I miscarried and my spine is so damaged that I’m now in a wheelchair. I was just numb. I used to stand there and let him beat me.
“I didn’t get help from anyone at the time. I was too ashamed to tell anyone. I thought it was just something happening to me.
“Now I’ve left him and I’m away from it all I feel on top of the world. I regret not doing it years ago but I didn’t know. I’ve got my life and my kids and that’s all that matters to me. Don’t suffer in silence like I did.”
More information for victims of domestic abuse can be found at www.sheffielddact.org.uk.
Call the helpline for free on 0808 8082241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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