Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Online support for victims of violence and abuse

Australians can now access free counselling and confidential professional advice online, if they have suffered or are at risk of a sexual assault or domestic and family violence.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, today launched the 24 hour service website at

“The online service offers an important access portal for victims of violence, who are seeking help, and further complements the 1800RESPECT National telephone counselling service launched in October last year,” Ms Ellis said.

“The telephone counselling service has averaged around 185 callers a week since its launch in October last year – a sobering reminder that there is demand for this sort of service out in the community.

“The more options we offer for victims of violence in the home, the more likely it is that people will get the help they need.”

1800RESPECT is staffed by tertiary qualified counsellors and social workers, who are able respond in a professional and sensitive manner to victims’ needs and further provide them referrals to relevant services.

The 1800RESPECT online and telephone counselling service is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to reduce violence under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Ms Ellis said the National Planbrings together all levels of government in a combined effort to reduce violence against women in a real and sustained way.

“The National Plan is the first of its kind to focus on long term solutions, including building respectful relationships and working to increase gender equality to prevent violence from occurring in the first place,” Ms Ellis said.

“We have committed more than $86 million over four years to support the National Plan initiatives to improve the lives of women who have suffered violence.

“We already know that the economic cost of family violence is enormous, but what is truly immeasurable is the emotional and personal cost to the victims.”

The Australian Government has provided $12.5 million over four years for the creation and delivery of 1800RESPECT.