Woman Inc seeks to re­solve phone woes

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: WOMAN INC notes with con­cern and alarm the let­ter cap­tioned ‘Save our girls’, from Tamry, pub­lished in your news­pa­per on Mon­day, Novem­ber 14, 2016. Our or­gan­i­sa­tion has been work­ing as­sid­u­ously for more than 30 years to do just that – save and em­power our Ja­maican women and girls. We cur­rently run the only tem­po­rary shel­ter and 24-hour hot­line for per­sons in cri­sis from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and other forms of gen­der-based vi­o­lence in Ja­maica, and we take our work very se­ri­ously.

We have reached out and tried to con­tact Tamry, via the pub­lished email ad­dress, to ad­vise her and to of­fer as­sis­tance re­gard­ing the spe­cific sit­u­a­tion of which she wrote, yet we still are await­ing a re­sponse from her.

It is most un­for­tu­nate that at the time of her call, a hot­line worker was not avail­able, and we want to re­as­sure Ja­maica that this is an anom­aly. The hot­line is only one tele­phone line and, un­for­tu­nately, if the hot­line worker is as­sist­ing some­one else with their cri­sis, he or she is un­able to an­swer other in­com­ing calls. This ap­pears to have been the case here.

Re­flect­ing on this sit­u­a­tion – although our voice mes­sage gen­er­ally pro­vides suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion and guid­ance, the voice­mail sys­tem has not func­tioned prop­erly for some time and the tele­phone com­pany can­not as­sure us as to when (and, in fact, if) the ser­vice will be re­stored.

As a vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion, we face se­vere chal­lenges pe­ri­od­i­cally and cur­rent tech­ni­cal nu­ances do not al­low for a se­cond hot­line which might pro­vide more im­me­di­ate di­rect and per­sonal ser­vice. De­spite this, we stand ready to serve as we al­ways have, since in­cep­tion in 1985, and strive to give the best ser­vice pos­si­ble to all Ja­maicans who call in their hour of need.

Woman Inc re­minds the na­tion that apart from our 24-hour hot­line num­ber, 929-2997, we of­fer walk-in coun­selling at our cri­sis cen­tres at 4 Ellesmere Road, Kingston, and at 4 Sam Sharpe Square in Mon­tego Bay.

We know that the sit­u­a­tion for our women and girls in Ja­maica is cur­rently quite dire as a re­sult of vi­o­lent acts against them. There­fore, we call on all Ja­maica to join us and help fight this ma­jor scourge upon so­ci­ety. WOMAN INC wicri­sis­cen­tre@ya­hoo.com

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