SMS counsellor records 1000 help texts daily

Ambalika Kutty
Ambalika Kutty

 

THE mWomen program will be taken out to women in rural areas of the North to enlighten them about laws to help them in times of domestic violence.

Initiated by the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation, the team will visit women at Wailevu Tiri and surrounding settlements this week.

“The good thing about this awareness is to prompt more cases to be reported so we can make our community less susceptible to crime, abuse and assault. Vodafone mWomen is reaching 13,500 people on a daily basis and some 1000 people are texting to seek help through the SMS counsellor” said foundation executive Ambalika Kutty.

She said the community outreach was aimed at informing them of laws and procedures they could use when dealing with violent situations.

“The program also comprehends the mWomen structure and what it aspires to achieve,” she said.

“We use social counsellors from the Empower Pacific and a group of lawyers who advise women on issues such as child abuse, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence and how Legal Aid can be promoted to help the poor, unreachable and the vulnerable population.

“We have noticed that most women are unaware of the laws and our community outreach will now tell them that there are counselling services available.”

Ms Kutty said the counselling service could reduce stress and depression associated with abuse, violence and assault.

“The fear of social stigma is associated closely with abuse, violence and assault and this is impeding the success of our community.

“Vodafone mWomen aims to focus on unreported cases and the SMS counsellor service will register and respond to queries via text message counselling.”

The SMS counsellor service, which can be accessed through a subscription with Vodafone on *727#, is a free service which provides tips on legal and counselling aspects surrounding crimes decree, child abuse decree, domestic violence decree, restraining order and spousal maintenance.

Ms Kutty said the program would benefit the community, not only the victim but also the respondents, their families and the community in which they live in.

BY: FIJI TIMES