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News : Abused Women Making Full Use of Helpline
Petaling Jaya, June 6, 2014 -- Women’s Aid Organisation’s (WAO) SMS helpline, Think I Need Aid (Tina), launched on March 8 is receiving a steady stream of messages from women who are being abused.
Tina advocacy officer Sally Wangsawijaya said the helpline was a virtual friend and the first of its kind in Malaysia.
"We get SMSes from women who are in the early or late stages of abuse.
"There are women who do not know they are being abused and need a friend to talk about their problems," she said.
She added that SMSes would provide a veil of anonymity for victims who might find calling a helpline a barrier.
"Speaking on the phone may also be dangerous if the perpetrator is close enough to hear.
"Tina will appeal to the younger people who prefer an informal chat with a friend rather than speaking to a counsellor or social worker.
"The helpline will refer callers to WAO’s social workers when they are ready to talk," said Sally. She said the consent of abused women was needed before they could be counselled.
Last year, 60% of cases handled by WAO were on domestic violence.
"We sheltered 93 women, conducted 89 face-to-face counselling and 1,195 telephone sessions, as well as attended to 77 emails from victims of domestic violence," said Sally.
Since 1982, WAO has helped victims of domestic violence through its shelter services, counselling and advocacy work on women’s rights.
Tina is available from 9am-5.30pm from Monday to Friday. If you know someone is experiencing domestic abuse SMS Tina at 018 988 8058.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Women’s Aid Organisation:
Women's Aid Organisation or WAO is a Malaysian non-governmental organisation that fights for women's rights and specifically against violence against women. It was founded in 1982 and continues to play a leading role in the Malaysian women’s rights movement working within the fields of advocacy, public education as well as law and policy reforms.
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014