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Respond have set up a free helpline for people who have stayed in institutions, and their friends and family. This is a confidential line run by trained volunteers.

Institutional Abuse Helpline & Services

Download the press release & service leaflet

Following the Panorama expose of the abuse that was occurring at Winterbourne View, families and former patients are speaking out and demanding that this type of abuse does not happen again.  Although there has been significant response in terms of campaigning, policy work and legal challenges, emotional support for those affected has been lacking.  To help address this gap in services the Department of Health awarded Respond a grant to provide a helpline, family support sessions and individual assessments.

Institutional Abuse Helpline - 0808 808 0700

Open Thursdays from 10 am - 4 pm

For anyone with a learning disability or people connected to them who have been affected by institutional abuse.


The helpline aims to:

Offer a safe place in which to gain support

Provide emotional support

Give practical advice in the forms of signposting and information giving

Assess callers for regular counselling sessions & other Respond services

Carry out weekly focused telephone counselling sessions with a counsellor (when appropriate)


Services can also be accessed via email:  wvhelpline@respond.org.uk


Family Support Sessions

Through the helpline, family members can be referred to The Winterbourne View Family Support Group for family members of former patients of Winterbourne View.  The groups are facilitated by Respond therapists and held bimonthly in our London offices.  These sessions are an opportunity to come together as a group, support each other, and look at ways of moving forward.


Travel subsidies and lunch are provided.


For more information or to make a referral contact Annette Crump.