Victims of abuse in UAE reach out for help

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The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, DFWAC, has received 552 calls through its helpline '800111' related to abused victims of women and children, out of the total 2034 calls it received during the first half of this year, 2015, Afra Al Basti, Director General of the Foundation has said..

She said the calls it received were mostly about family counseling and volunteering and donating.

Al Basti said that the number of calls that the Foundation received during the second quarter of this year totalled 1247, an increase of 63% compared to the first quarter in which it has received 787 calls, which indicates that DFWAC's helpline is gaining more trust among community members every day.

She noted that the calls received by the helpline during the second quarter included about 465 calls related to cases of violence against women and children, including 398 calls from the victims, and 48 calls by friends or relatives of the victims in addition to 19 calls by official parties such as school, police, embassies and others.

She added that calls related to abused victims during the second quarter included 254 calls about victims of domestic violence, or about 50% of the calls, as well as 28 calls about victims of child abuse and 8 calls about victims of human trafficking, as well as other calls related to other categories of victims of violence.

Al Basti explained that 261 victims (51%) out of the 465 calls indicated that they were exposed to verbal abuse, and 116 victims (23%) to physical abuse, and 63 victims (12%) of financial abuse, and 62 victims (12%) to negligence, in addition to the eight victims (2%) that have been subjected to sexual abuse.

She added that only 8% of the cases received by the Foundation through the Helpline during the second quarter were in urgent need for support, but none of the cases were under an immediatethreat.

The Director General confirmed that about 42% of the helpline callers during the second quarter of this year were Emirati Nationals, and the rest of the calls came from residents of other nationalities in the UAE.

She added that the helpline has achieved a new success during the second quarter of this year by receiving 183 calls from children under the age of 18, or about 36% of the total calls related to victims of violence during that period, where the Foundation seeks to raise more awareness among this age group in the community about how to prevent exposure to abuse and violence.

Al Basti pointed out that the importance of the Helpline 800111 is to provide immediate assistance 24 hours a day for situations that are exposed to abuse in any part of the country, especially those under serious threat, in coordination with the various legal and concerned entities.

She added that DFWAC’s helpline holds the membership of the International Child Helpline, which is a global network of 179 free call center for the protection and care of children in 143 countries that receive more than 14 million calls per year.

It is noteworthy that DFWAC's helpline '800111' is the ninth call center that holds the International Child Helpline membership in the Middle East and North Africa, and the second within the UAE, which makes the UAE the only country in the region, which includes two helplines registered with the network.


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