Dhwani helpline caters to victims of domestic violence

Chennai: The International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) has initiated a toll-free helpline – Dhwani – that would operate out of Anna Nagar and cater to victims of domestic violence across the nation.

PCVC has partnered with Verizon India for the ambitious initiative. The Dhwani hotline 044 43111143/ 18001027282, is being run 24×7 by volunteers and staff of PCVC, based in Anna Nagar.

The Dhwani initiative was already present and the partnership with Verizon will aid in strengthening its scope and reach, the people involved with PCVC said.

PCVC managing trustee Dr Prasanna Gettu said, “We started this helpline with the hope that every call we attend is an opportunity to support people to break out of the cycle of violence and stand by them in their journey of change. The good practices and expertise we have gained over two decades of working together with survivors of violence, has led to this holistic, collaborative, survivor-led model challenging violence in our families and communities.”

On an average, the Dhwani helpline receives and responds to 350 new crisis calls per year with more than 75 per cent being high-risk and continues to provide phone and in-person counselling services to women through innumerable follow-up calls.

The authorities said with the partnership with Verizon, PCVC will be creating a robust network of trained local service providers who will be able to deliver enhanced crisis intervention services and create awareness to triple the calls over the next year.

What is Dhwani?

Dhwani, meaning voice for a change, is fully operational and will provide crisis intervention services to women facing domestic, dating and other forms of interpersonal violence and sexual harassment.

Trained counsellors respond to crisis calls and provide immediate emergency interventions including phone counselling, safety planning, connecting with the police, legal and medical referrals, and options for in-person counselling and social worker support for filing cases.

Survivors of intimate partner violence, family violence, sexual harassment and burn violence, their families and caregivers can call these numbers (044-43111143/1800 102 7282) during an emergency.

The responders give callers access to immediate and timely help as well as follow-up and referral services that provide information to meet the needs of survivors at various stages of the recovery and rehabilitative process.

A Harsha Vardhan