Victims of gender-based violence now have an additional hotline to call for assistance.
The National Women’s Commission with funding from the Spotlight Initiative and technical support from UNFPA, launched the second 0-800 Gender-based Violence hotline on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at the Eastern Division Police Department on Queen Street, Belize City.
Studies have shown that in time of crises, acts of gender-based violence directed towards women and children escalates. The National Women’s Commission along with its partners have done their best in ensuring that victims have quick and efficient access to reporting services.
This important community-based protection system becomes more effective when protecting everyone experiencing gender-based violence, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With victims already having access to a BTL toll-free hotline, an additional hotline and a Smart mobile phone were implemented to provide toll-free access to persons with Smart numbers, further expanding their access in requesting assistance by sending text messages via SMS or WhatsApp.
This component can impact access by persons with disabilities who can only use mobile devices or those persons who cannot make a call due to the danger they may find themselves in. Both landlines and mobile phones will be manned by the Domestic Violence Unit at the Queen Street Police Station.
The Government of Belize is grateful for the partnership and support of the European Union and the United Nations under the Spotlight Initiative to advance efforts aiming to improve access for timely reporting to authorities and authorities’ timely response time to handle GBV cases.
Lastly, if you are experiencing gender-based violence and need police assistance, please call 0-800-A-WAY-OUT or send a text or a WhatsApp message to the number 672-9628 to request urgent attention. For more information on other available services, please contact the Women’s Department at 227-7397.