Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) can now dial “119” to receive support, counselling, and referrals to community-based services and resources in the region.
On 26 September, UNFPA and the General Directorate for Combatting Violence Against Women (GDCVAW) in KRI launched the first helpline for gender-based violence survivors.
The Helpline is a 24-hour call centre established to provide confidential support and guidance to survivors of GBV. Callers will be connected with trained social workers as well as legal and psycho-social support counsellors, both female and male.
UNFPA also organised two trainings for GDCVAW social workers and phone operators on the helpline procedures and guidelines for answering, probing, supporting, and following up on calls received at the call centre.
“The Helpline initiative will enable GDCVAW trained operators to provide counselling, advice, and support to GBV survivors and vulnerable individuals in the Kurdistan region of Iraq”, said Mr Kareem Sinjari, Minister of Interior in KRI.
Mr Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, emphasized the importance of this project:
“While remedial services require strengthening to ensure the best possible care for GBV survivors, the helpline is definitely a positive step forward in that direction. We are confident that the helpline 119 is a solid tool that will help the Government in its efforts to combat gender-based violence and support survivors.”
The project, supported by the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP), is expected to reach more than 3,600 survivors in the first year of its operations.