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Hotline help for battered women.

A NATIONAL lifeline for battered wives will be launched on Monday.

The aim of the telephone hotline is to provide access to emergency housing and help to keep women safe from violent partners.

It will be backed by the Government and the charities Women's Aid, Refuge and Comic Relief.

Homelessness Minister Jeff Rooker said: ``The Government are committed to tackling domestic violence, which kills two women a week.

``This vital new national helpline will help ensure the safety of thousands of women and children.''

The move comes just a few weeks after shocking new figures on battered wives were revealed by Scottish Women's Aid.

Almost 72,000 women went to them for help last year 7000 up on the previous year.

But the under-pressure welfare centres were forced to turn away three out of four women.

A total of 5873 women asked for refuge but the charity could only find temporary homes for 1661, along with 2037 children.

Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said: ``We know about the despair and terror that these women and children face.

``This helpline will act as the first and most crucial source of support, helping to save many lives.''

A major advertising campaign will be launched to publicise the number.

Calls to the hotline will be free and won't appear on the telephone bill.

THE hotline number is 0808 2000247.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 13, 2003
Words:226
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