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1-TOK KAUNSELIN HELPIM LAIN LAUNCHES 24-HOUR SERVICE

The 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain, Papua New Guinea’s only national telephone counselling and support service, will now be available on a 24-hour, 7 days a week throughout all 22 provinces starting December 2 2020 to anyone experiencing gender-based violence (GBV).

The service hours have been expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a steep rise in callers seeking support and also the recognition of GBV as a prevalent issue in Papua New Guinea .

Trained counsellors – who offer callers help on issues ranging from crisis counselling, safety planning, and suicide intervention – will be contactable at any time of day from any of the country’s 22 provinces via a toll free Digicel number 7150 8000.

Launched in partnership by ChildFund and CIMC (Family & Sexual Violence Action Committee) in 2015, the 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain has received over 40,000 calls and partnered with over 350 service providers nationwide.

Country Director of ChildFund PNG said: “ChildFund and FSVAC are committed to implement programs and services which address the causes of violence; build the capacity of our legal system, and strengthen the services available to survivors”.

“Communities in PNG already experience high rates of family violence, and unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these tensions.”

“With more staff and expanded hours, the 1 Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain can help more people impacted by GBV – by providing immediate over the phone counselling, and longer-term support through referrals to other services.”

Moving the helpline service to a 24-hour model has been made possible with the support of UN Women, StJohns Ambulance.

This telephone counselling service is a Partnership between ChildFund and CIMC (Family & Sexual Violence Action Committee) with funding support from the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The expansion of services in 2020 has been made possible thanks to UNICEF, UN Women, DFAT and StJohns Ambulance.In marking International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, Marcia Kalinoe, National Coordinator of CIMC- Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, said: “There is an urgent need for vital services like the helpline to be made available to women, men and children through the country.”

“However, can all play a part in driving behaviour change and building peaceful communities.”

“We can all take action to end all forms of violence in our homes, families, communities, villages, and work spaces.”

The 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain is a partnership between ChildFund and CIMC (FSVAC) and with funding support by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The expansion of services in 2020 has been made possible thanks to UNICEF, UN Women, DFAT and StJohns Ambulance.

November 24, 2020