The Domestic Violence Unit established the Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-SAVE in 1996.
The objectives of the Hotline are:
1. To reduce the incidence of violent acts related to domestic violence;
2. To provide support for victims and perpetrators of violence;
3. To provide a facility for anyone to access help in a situation of crisis;
4. To facilitate the collection of data which can be analysed for informing the development of policies, programmes and projects to deal with the issue.
The Hotline began its operations on 28 August 1996 providing listening, information and referral services to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. By 2006, the Hotline had received more than 13,000 calls related to domestic violence issues. Although it is difficult to measure the Hotline's success in reducing the incidence of violent acts related to domestic violence, the fact that over 9,500 referrals have been made to such services as the police, safe houses, legal aid and Drop In Centres shows that the Hotline continues to
provide a valuable facility for persons in need to access help.
Further, information garnered from the Hotline has been extremely useful in highlighting certain issues which have been the impetus for programmes and projects undertaken by
the Domestic Violence Unit. These include the establishment of Drop-In Centres, the creation of the Male Support Programme, the policy roundtable on Domestic Violence data collection and multi-disciplinary training for police officers and other service providers to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. In addition, data collected from the Hotline is used to inform national reports to such international agencies as UN/CEDAW, OAS/CIM, PAHO and ECLAC.
The Hotline is structured to operate on a 24 hour basis, with eight active listeners rostered on three 8 hour shifts per day. The structure also provides for a Supervisor/Counsellor who manages the Hotline's daily operations and also provides counseling services to some of the Hotline's clients. At present, the operations of the Hotline is managed and monitored by the non-governmental organization, Families in Action.
Source of Information
Annual Report of the Gender Affairs Division (2005-2006), p. 31