PCVC and Verizon India come together to set-up unique helpline for domestic violence victims.

Chennai, November 27, 2018 The International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), a pioneering service provider offering specialized support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, has partnered with Verizon India to strengthen the scope and reach of Dhwani, a national domestic violence toll-free helpline. The hotline, 044-43111143/18001027282, is being run 24x7 by volunteers and staff of PCVC, based in Chennai.

Dhwani, meaning voice (for change) which is fully operational will be providing crisis intervention services to women facing domestic, dating and other forms of inter-personal 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.The Dhwani helpline receives and responds on average to 350 new crisis calls per year with more than 75% being high-risk and continues to provide phone and in-person counselling services to women through innumerable follow up calls. 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.

Prevention of domestic violence and women’s empowerment are among key priority areas that guide Verizon’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The Dhwani helpline will serve as a critical resource for women affected by domestic violence to overcome the trauma, access information, discuss their situation, and seek emotional and physical support which is so important given the conspiracy of silence that surrounds domestic violence.

Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Prasanna Gettu, Managing Trustee, PCVC, 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 2 decades of working together with survivors of violence, has led to this holistic, collaborative, survivor-led model challenging violence in our families and communities. This partnership with Verizon will help drive our vision of a life of dignity and respect for all.”

Ms. Kalyani Sekar, Vice President & Managing Director, Verizon India, said, “We believe Dhwani will be an inspiration for many such initiatives that are crucial to fight the menace of domestic violence and gender discrimination. At Verizon India, respect is at the core of our values.  Our partnership with PCVC, to provide support for victims of domestic violence, helps uphold respect and dignity of all individuals and is a reiteration of our belief in a world with zero tolerance for abuse of any kind.”

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