Muslim women suffer from a range of problems. Culture poses a barrier to seeking help because of dishonour, shame, stigma and being rejected by the community. Some women do not feel comfortable contacting local groups because they are often based in the communities in which they live and fear breaches of confidentiality. These women can remain isolated and unsupported. A helpline can provide a safe space to talk about problems because callers can remain anonymous.
Muslim Women's Network UK was regularly contacted by women asking for help even though it did not operate a helpline. As enquiries increased, we did not have the resources or the proper systems to respond. It was due to this ongoing demand that we decided to set up a dedicated helpline in 2015 that was sufficiently resourced, had a robust data collection system, had safeguarding processes, and with that was operated by highly trained and skilled staff. As women and girls may be experiencing multiple interconnected problems at the same time, we also decided not to limit the helpline to only take calls only on specific issues. The helpline therefore receives calls on over 40 issues.