Victims of rape are being offered extra support around the clock after the launch of the first national first 24-hour helpline.

Trained specialists will be on hand at any time by phone or online to offer emotional support and information on what other services are available.

Operated by Rape Crisis England and Wales, the service can be used by anyone aged 16 and over who has experienced sexual violence and abuse at any point in their life, the Ministry of Justice said.

It adds to help already offered in Norfolk through a 24-hour helpline operated by the Norwich-based SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) and partially funded by police. 

Its helpline offers access to support including independent sexual violence Advisors (ISVA) for those aged both over and under 18. 

Research shows that victims who speak to an ISVA are 49% less likely to withdraw from the criminal justice process. 

To contact the Norfolk 24/7 support line call 01603 276381 or email

The national helpline is on 0808 500 2222 or visit