The 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain – 7150 8000 – was launched in August 2015 and delivers a comprehensive counselling and referral service for survivors of family and sexual violence (FSV) through a national toll-free hotline, providing survivors and their families an immediate and comprehensive support package.
The package includes access to information, referral to nearby service providers and personal and confidential counselling at the time of the call.
The hotline is staffed by professional counsellors available 12 hours a day and is available in Papua New Guinea’s three national languages – English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu. The Hotline is managed by ChildFund PNG in partnership with the National Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee and FHI360.
Early this year, Oil Search Foundation developed a partnership with ChildFund PNG to introduce internships for people representing key populations at higher risk of HIV (‘key populations’). In PNG, key populations include men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people living with HIV and survivors of gender-based violence.
Many of these groups face stigma and discrimination in their day-to-day lives and face barriers to accessing essential services. It is important that the hotline staff are comfortable communicating with people from key populations who call the hotline for counselling and support.
The internship program was designed to give the telephone counsellors exposure to a diverse range of people representing these populations – a beneficial and educational experience for the interns as well as counselling staff.
The six interns completed two-week placements at the hotline between April and June 2017.
Moses Kalup, OSF Grant Support Officer, says: “The internships provided a great two-way exchange of information – key population members shared their personal stories with the hotline staff, and hotline staff helped the interns understand that members of key populations are free to call the hotline if they are affected by violence.”
Wesh Siku, ChildFund PNG Hotline Manager, said the hotline is open to all survivors of gender-based violence.
“Individuals from key populations can be reassured that if they call the Hotline, no one is going to judge them. The 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain is open for all survivors of GBV to call, no matter what their background is,” he said.