Friday, November 02, 2018

Over 15 000 Papua New Guineans seek help on telephone counselling line

Papua New Ginea's  first national toll-free telephone counselling service – 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain (715 08000) – has received more than 15,000 calls in its third year of operation.
They were more than double the number of calls received in year two.
The hotline was established by ChildFund, Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council-FSVAC) and FHI 360 as a service for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
According to a statement from ChildFund, it was estimated that more two-thirds of women experience violence in their relationships in PNG.
Its report indicated that the highest proportion of calls in the last year came from NCD, Southern Highlands, Hela and Morobe.
After the Highlands earthquake in late February, the hotline was mobilised to provide trauma counselling and psychosocial support for people affected by the earthquake, which accounted for high call volumes from those areas.
More than half (56 per cent) of the callers were male who called the hotline not as survivors but mostly as witnesses of gender-based violence or individuals seeking information or relationship advice. A small proportion of male callers were identified as perpetrators.
The top issues last year were:


  • Family violence, both physical and emotional, including intimate partner violence (IPV);
  • safety and security; and
  • child welfare and child abuse.
  • The hotline aligns with the government’s national strategy to prevent and respond to GBV, with objective three focused on ensuring quality, continuity and sustainability of coordinated responses and service delivery for survivors of GBV.

“Providing telephone counselling and referring survivors of gender-based violence to support services over the telephone is a unique service in PNG. The hotline is the first of its kind and has proven to be valuable to people experiencing family and sexual violence,” said Wesh Siku, ChildFund PNG’s senior project officer for 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain.
ChildFund PNG country director Manish Joshi said: “The hotline has grown from strength to strength. It is remarkable to see how this service has reached across the 22 provinces in just three years despite the challenges.
“Our counsellors have done an outstanding job of helping more than 23,000 people through information over the phone support and referrals.”
The hotline counsellors have provided:


  • Information to more than 10,000 callers;
  • Crisis counselling to more than 4000 callers;
  • safety planning to more than 1500 callers, and
  • Suicide intervention to more than 50 callers.

More than 7000 callers were referred to on-the-ground services, most commonly police, welfare agencies and face-to-face counselling services.
The 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain is a partnership between ChildFund PNG, CIMC (FSVAC) and FHI 360, supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, USAID, ChildFund New Zealand and ChildFund Australia.

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