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Help for gender violence victims now just a call away

Victims of domestic violence will now be able to get assistance over the phone following government’s move to issue a toll free number.

Speaking to a local news channel on Wednesday via Skype, Permanent Secretary for Gender Colleta Suda said the move would help victims to access timely help.

“Victims of gender violence can now access help quickly via the number 1195. It’s a toll free number and it will be operational 24/7,” Suda said.

According to the PS, victims of Gender Based Violence Cases (GBVC) will be attended by counsellors who will be on standby and all they will have to do is explain their situation and location.

“They can call the number at any time and there are counsellors on standby waiting to attend to them. They need to explain their situation, which type of abuse they are experiencing and they will be referred to the nearest police station and medical facility where they can be treated,” she explained.

Suda said cases of domestic violence had skyrocketed in the country in the last few weeks stating that at least 208 cases involving gender crimes had been reported in a span of two weeks.

NATIONWIDE CURFEW

She also noted that the rate of GBVC had shot up in the recent times in the wake of a dawn to dusk nationwide curfew imposed by the government in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

She cited economic stress due to financial constraints being experienced by many households at the moment at the key catalyst to increased gender crimes in the country where victims are mostly women.

Moreover, the PS said that unlike before, the police had been undergoing training and awareness and are now well equipped to deal with domestic violence and help victims.

“The era where police used to say ‘haya ni mambo ya nyumbani’ is long gone. Police are well trained now and are able to offer essential assistance to the victims,” she said.​