A non-stop service for domestic violence victims
Bily kruh bezpeci with the financial support of a big international company (Philip Morris CR) has launched a new project “Non-stop helpline for domestic violence victims” in the beginning of the year 2001. This helpline has been providing help to the public and especially the victims of domestic violence since September 2001.
DONA helpline is a first service of its kind operating in the Czech Republic. Bily kruh bezpeci considers this service to be a first step in creating a system of adequate reaction to this phenomenon. The helpline provides help not only to the victims of domestic violence, but also to her relatives, friends and neighbours. It is used also by other helping professionals who meet the victims of domestic violence and do not know how to help them.
The consultants of this helpline provide immediate psychological, legal, organisational and moral support to the victims of domestic violence.
And now few words about the team. The team consists of 34 consultants, 26 women and 8 men. Concerning their professional qualification, 9 of the consultants are lawyers, 11 psychologists, 2 psychiatrists, 10 social workers and 2 university students. All the consultants had to go through an obligatory training programme realised by Bily kruh bezpeci. The training containing 63 hours has focused mainly on the understanding of the phenomenon of domestic violence, practical knowledge and information concerning this issue and the communication with the victims respecting their traumatic experience.
The majority of the helpline consultants are also volunteers in the counseling centers Bily kruh bezpeci and therefore they have rich experience with the clients seeking help because of domestic violence.
The helpline DONA has a specific feature – a confidential address. Bily kruh bezpeci has been inspired by similar helplines operating abroad where these services strictly operate on the basis of confidentiality.
We may mention the statistic findings concerning domestic violence from the first 9000 calls to the helpline DONA.
95 % of the domestic violence victims are women, 5 % are men. The average length of domestic violence in our sample is ½ year – 3 years. Unfortunately, we also come across with the relationships where the violence has been present for more than 20 years. The majority of the violence occurs within marriage (59 %), less often between parents and their children (11 %).
Great deal of the attacked ones have remained passive - either concealing their situation completely or sharing the information with someone they trust. Much lesser number of people would take an active approach and would report the attacks to the police or to the doctor.
For more information about DONA helpline please check www.donalinka.cz