Telephone counseling saves lives

Papua New Guinea’s first free telephone counseling service 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain has received more than 5000 calls in its second year of operation, a two fold increase from its first year.

Launched by ChildFund Papua New Guinea in 2015, in partnership with Consultative Implementation Monitoring Council (CIMC) Family Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) and FHI 360, analysis of call data for the past 12 months found that the top three issues for callers were: relationship advice, physical and sexual violence (mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner) and child welfare concerns.

ChildFund Papua New Guinea's telephone counseling service received more than 5,000 calls last year. Photo by Vlad Sokhin.

Of those calling about issues involving violence, just over one third of callers identified themselves as survivors, 20 per cent as witnesses and two per cent as perpetrators and a large proportion chose not to disclose their status.

Half of all callers to the hotline were male.

ChildFund Papua New Guinea Country director Manish Joshi said in a country where rates of family and sexual violence are at endemic levels, the 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain is not only providing a vital and much-needed service, but potentially has saved lives.

This article originally appeared in the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier