Shelter reports 63% rise in calls for help

DUBAI // A foundation providing help and shelter for abused women and children has reported a rise of two-thirds in calls to its hotline for the first half of this year.

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children received 2,034 calls in the six months – an increase of 63 per cent – 552 of which were about women and children suffering some form of abuse.

Director general Afra Al Basti said 398 of the calls were from victims, 48 from friends or relatives, and 19 were from authorities.

Ms Al Basti said half of the calls were related to domestic abuse, while 28 calls were about children and eight were from human-trafficking victims.

Most were victims of verbal abuse but 23 per cent were physically mistreated. Sixty-three were victims of financial abuse and 62 of neglect. Ms Al Basti said eight victims had been subjected to sexual assault.

Forty-two per cent of callers were Emirati.

She said that 8 per cent of the cases alerted to the foundation through the helpline were in urgent need of support, but none of them were under immediate threat.

Ms Al Basti said the foundation received 183 calls from people aged under 18, which proved it was raising enough awareness among the community.

The helpline can be reached on 800111.

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