4 Dec 2017

Tonga to trial 24 hour helpline for victims of violence

6:20 am on 4 December 2017

The women and children's crisis centre in Tonga is preparing to trial a 24 hour helpline for victims of family violence in conjunction with its commemoration of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence.

The helpline trial, which is funded by UN Women, will be launched on the 5th of December and will run until February.

Crisis centre director Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said if successful funding is available to support the service for three years from March 2018.

She said the initiative is in line with the theme of the 16 Day campaign this year which is "leave no one behind."

"So that we can have a telephone number that women in the outer islands and in the rural areas of Tongatapu can call at any time, seven days a week to access support services over the line and also guidance to refer onwards to counsellors who can do home visits or mobile visits to the outer islands depending on the situation," she said.

Other groups that need more support in the Pacific include children, people living with disabilities and LGBTQI who also experience violence in communities but are easily overlooked.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta