Hot­line aims to help do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTIKE NANDA WIN news­room@mm­times.com

A NEW hot­line is pro­vid­ing le­gal ad­vice to do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims.

The hot­line, which kicked off on Oc­to­ber 20, is backed by the Blue Ocean call cen­tre and Akhaya Women Myan­mar. It is open from 9am to 5pm Mon­day to Satur­day, ex­cept hol­i­days.

The con­sul­tants are all fe­male law ex­perts.

Cur­rently, call­ers must use MPT but Blue Ocean is work­ing to con­tact the Te­lenor and Oore­doo op­er­a­tors. For now at least, the hot­line charges K100 per minute.

“We ac­tu­ally do not want to charge K100 per minute,” said U Tin Ko Ko Win, Blue Ocean chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer. “These are call cen­tre ser­vice fees. We do not have a dis­count at this time. We will try our best to make these calls sup­port­ing rights is­sues for women and chil­dren free in the fu­ture.”

Many women and chil­dren who are vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault or vi­o­lence do not know how to prevent or pro­tect them­selves against their ag­gres­sors us­ing the law, Akhaya Women Myan­mar founder and di­rec­tor Daw Htar Htar said. In re­sponse, her or­gan­i­sa­tion de­cided to team up with the call cen­tre, which had the tech­nol­ogy and in­fra­struc­ture, in or­der to make le­gal ser­vices more read­ily avail­able.

“A lo­cal civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tion can­not af­ford to pro­vide ev­ery­thing the pub­lic needs,” she said. “Vi­o­lence will not wait un­til we have cov­ered the costs of ev­ery­thing. So we are co­op­er­at­ing with like­minded or­gan­i­sa­tions and busi­ness groups to re­duce vi­o­lence. Peo­ple can de­cide what to do when they are armed with an un­der­stand­ing of the le­gal sys­tem.”

The hot­line is also open to men be­cause they should un­der­stand the rights of women and chil­dren, said Blue Ocean le­gal and cor­po­rate af­fairs depart­ment head U Min Tayza Nyunt Tin.

The hot­line will also pro­vide le­gal in­for­ma­tion re­lated to busi­ness, prop­erty and com­pany li­cences, he said.

“We will ask about vi­o­lence first and then we will pro­ceed with le­gal in­for­ma­tion based on the facts of the case,” he said “Women lawyers are well-ad­vised on the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by their women clients. We also have male lawyers for men.”

To call the abuse hot­line, dial 1886 ex­ten­sion 3.

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