15 August 2013

In one year the 8-801-100-8-801 national hotline for domestic violence survivors received more than 2,600 calls.

In most cases calling are the victims themselves (84%), there are also calls from their relatives and friends (15%). The head of the hotline Anastasia Foleychik comments that recently they saw an increase in the number of calls when people are interested to learn different aspects of the hot line work. Another trend observed in one year of activity is the increasing the number (23%) of regular and repeated calls to the hotline.

If in the first months of the line operation the majority (58%) of calls came from the city of Minsk and Minsk region, but recently the number of calls from other regions of the country grew substantially, amounting to 55% as of today.

If we use the multitude of calls to try and profile domestic violence survivors - says the head of the hotline Anastasia Foleychik, we could say that those suffering are mostly women (95%) mainly of 27-40 (32%) and older than 60 (about 20 %). They live in Minsk (38%), or in small towns and rural areas (21%). More than half of those turning to hotline experts for help with domestic violence are married, 20% are divorced. More than 80% have children.

68% of survivors are subjected to physical violence, 54% to economic, 96% to psychological, 5% to sexual. Most callers suffer from several types of violence in their lives.

Analysis of the calls received at 8-801-100-8-801 shows that often it is the male that acts as the abuser in family (86%). 41% of male aggressors are aged from 27 to 40. More than half of them are lawfully wedded spouses, 18% - ex-husbands, 16% are sons. 71% of male aggressors have alcohol problems. But on the part of women it is daughters (29%) and mothers (23%) who show aggressive behavior. 21% them also have alcohol abuse issues. There are many cases when the victim is abused by several family members.

Statistics of the hotline shows that 25% of aggressors have no permanent job or are unemployed, 27% are blue-collar workers and mid-level managers, 4% are executives and civil servants, entrepreneurs - 5%, military and law enforcement officers - 3 %.

The fact that in 43% of reported cases children are ones suffering from some form of domestic violence is alarming. Therefore, - says the head of the hotline Anastasia Foleychik – there needs to be more active involvement of organizations and professionals working with children, also directly at the place of residence of a family. As it turns out, despite the fact that minors are suffering from family violence, 28% of callers told us that they did not turn anywhere for assistance.

In one year of the hotline activity 43 people were referred to crisis rooms and shelters, most of them - in recent months. Monitoring of crisis rooms conducted by NGOs played an important role. As a result, - says Anastasia Foleychik - we received detailed information about the available facilities.

30% of the callers were advised by the hotline consultants to further address the issue by contacting the police, 12% were referred to the regional social service centers, and 9% - to organizations that provide assistance to people with alcohol dependence.

As practice shows, before turning to the hotline many of the callers have already approached other institutions for help - the police, healthcare agencies, or tried to solve the problem through the social security authorities.

Since June 1, 2013 the subscribers of velcom cell carrier can also seek the help of the hotline. Despite the fact that a call from a mobile number is charged to the caller, the number of such calls now makes around 40% per month.

Information. The 8-801-100-8-801 national hotline for domestic violence survivors was launched on August 13, 2012 on the basis of the "Gender Perspectives" international NGO as part of international technical assistance project "Developing national capacity to counteract domestic violence in the Republic of Belarus". Any adult suffering from domestic violence can turn to the hotline to get anonymous psychological, legal, social, and informational assistance. Hotline for domestic violence survivors takes calls every day from 8 am to 8 pm. The hotline is free of charge when calling from landline phones.