by Adelaide Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby
ChildFund PNG has launched a historic toll free hotline number to provide essential counselling and support services to survivors of family and sexual violence throughout Papua New Guinea.
With rapid advancement in telecommunications connecting now over 90 per cent of the nation, ChildFund PNG hopes that the combination of common mobile phone access and a growing awareness of family and sexual violence has made it the right time to launch the hotline.
7-1-5-0-8-0-0-0 is the toll free number to call to receive counselling for family and sexual violence.
The hotline costed more than K6 million funding support from the New Zealand Government’s Aid Programme, USAID, Child Fund Australia and New Zealand.
The hotline is called 1-TOK KAUNSELIN HELPIM LAIN and is similar to others being set up by development organisations, except that this hotline is free of charge.
Secretary for the Department for Community Development, Anna Solomon, said that the hotline came is timely considering the policies and laws being passed by government to ensure the protection of women and children.
The hotline will be officially opened for calls tomorrow from 8am to 5am until the 20th of October when the 7am to 7pm call hours will be finalised.
Currently seven social works graduates from the University of PNG have already gone through a three-month training on ways to address and counsel victims. The hotline is open for both male and female.