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'Safe to talk' National Sexual Harm Helpline

A new helpline called Safe to talk Kōrero mai, ka ora is now available nationwide to provide 24/7 access to free and confidential information and support to people affected by sexual harm in any way.

Safe to talk enables people to get advice and support from trained specialists and to be connected to support services in their community. This is the first time people affected by sexual harm have been able to seek help anonymously at any time from one central place.

The Safe to talk helpline was rolled out nationally on 16 April 2018 after being trialled in Canterbury and officially launched by the Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni on 1 June 2018.

Safe to talk is available for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week by:

Safe to talk dashboard

An information dashboard is produced each month by Homecare Medical.

It shows ‘who’ and ‘why’ people are contacting the Safe to talk helpline.

Posters available

Safe to talk has been set up as part of the Government's commitment to better support people affected by sexual harm and to prevent sexual harm by ensuring more people get the help they need at the right time.

Our approach

A draft service framework for the national helpline was co-developed by the Ministry of Social Development with specialist sexual harm providers and technical experts through workshops and interviews held between November 2016 and January 2017.

Wider consultation on aspects of the draft service framework was then carried out with the sector via the online Loomio platform and at five regional hui held during March and April 2017.

A series of eight roadshows were held around the country in September 2017 which provided an opportunity to introduce the organisation running the helpline to the sexual violence sector. The roadshow sessions were well-attended with lots of helpful discussion.

Homecare Medical running the helpline

The contract to build and operate the helpline was awarded to Homecare Medical following an open competitive tender process via the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) website.

Homecare Medical, a social enterprise which is owned by the primary health organisations ProCare and Pegasus Health, runs the National Telehealth Service which delivers free health and mental health advice, support and information including Healthline, Need to talk? 1737, Quitline and other specialist services. Homecare Medical has a workforce of over 250 clinicians and specialist staff.

FAQs for service providers

Homecare Medical has developed a set of answers to frequently asked questions for sexual harm service providers.

Further information

Keep updated about the development of sexual violence services by signing up for our Sexual Violence Service Development Update.