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What happens when you call the Helpline?

The Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline is a free, independent and confidential service available 24/7. We provide information and advice about any modern slavery issue to potential victims, businesses, the public and statutory agencies such as the police and NHS.

The Helpline always places the safety of the caller or potential victim first. Here’s what happens when you call the Helpline.

1) Speak to an adviser

When you phone the Helpline you’ll get through to a trained adviser who can help you with a range of possible options, including:

  • advice about abuse, exploitation or modern slavery
  • reporting something you’ve seen or are concerned about
  • getting more information about training and raising awareness
  • helping you or someone else get access to support services.

2) Give your details in confidence or anonymously

When you call the Helpline you have a number of choices about what happens with your personal details such as your name and telephone number. You can:

  • agree that you are OK about us sharing your details with others - for example with police and/or a service provider
  • request your details are kept confidential. This means that you are willing to give your details to the Helpline and be contacted by us, but want to remain anonymous to others
  • request your details are kept anonymous. This means you do not want to give your details to the Helpline and/or others.

All communications to the Helpline are confidential and we will always seek your consent before providing your personal information to others, unless:

  • the adviser thinks you or another person is in imminent danger or experiencing a life-threatening emergency
  • the adviser thinks there is a situation involving child abuse or danger to a person under the age of 18.

If you give permission for your details to be passed on to the police, local authority or a service provider, the adviser will tell you how your information will be shared with them.

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details. For example, our online forms are always encrypted, and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

We have regular reviews of who has access to any information we hold to ensure that your details can only be accessed by appropriately trained people.

3) Adviser makes an initial safety check

When you speak to an adviser they will always start by checking your safety first, if you’re in a safe place and can speak safely, and whether you’re hurt or need urgent help.

They will also ask if they can call you back or contact you again, agreeing with you how and when it is best to do so.

4) What do you need?

The adviser will work with you to find out all the information they can about the reason you are calling. This helps them make a decision about the next steps to be taken.

The assessment will include the adviser asking detailed questions so as to gain as much information as possible, such as what has happened, when it happened, and who is involved.

5) Next steps

Using the information provided, the adviser will then talk through potential options that may be available to you and the Helpline, which could include:

  • making a referral to provide services directly
  • reporting information about a potential slavery/trafficking case to the police or other relevant agency
  • providing safety planning
  • confirming no immediate action will be taken if you don’t want it to, but encouraging you to contact us again if you need help or can provide more information about the situation you are reporting
  • agreeing to contact you again for more information in order to provide referrals and other resources or coordinate next steps.

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