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Home NATIONALNollalinja to curb violence against women
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Mon, 19 Dec, 2016 11:29:20 PM
24-hour telephone service opens
FTimes Report, Dec 19

Easily available low threshold services can prevent violence in close relationships and break a vicious circle of violence as early as possible.

 Services must be equally available to all people, they must be free of charge and function around the clock, and the clients must be able to receive the services anonymously. 

The new 24-hour telephone service called Nollalinja was opened on 19 December for persons experiencing interpersonal violence and violence against women, said a government press release.

Nollalinja is a helpline that can be contacted anonymously: there’s no need to tell your own name, and the person on duty answering the call will not see the caller’s number. 

The call will not be shown on the itemization of the phone bill either. Service is given in Finnish, Swedish and English. Nollalinja’s helpline number is 080 005 005.

It’s essential that low threshold services are confidential. On Nollalinja, the calls will be answered by trained professionals from the health and social sector, and they have experience in supporting and helping people who have experienced violence. They also have an obligation of secrecy.

“On Nollalinja, violence against women is recognised as a particular form of violence. However, offering and getting help is not restricted depending on the caller’s gender. Men can also call Nollalinja if they experience interpersonal violence or are living under the threat of such violence”, said Juha Rehula, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.

The professionals answering through Nollalinja are competent to refer the victim onwards to other helping services, for example to a shelter. Shelters are low threshold services intended, for example, for victims of interpersonal violence. 

The shelters are funded by the central government. The Government has agreed on raising the funding of shelters by EUR 2 million per year during the years 2017–2019. 

In the State Budget for 2016, EUR 11.3 million was reserved for the provision of the services. In 2019 the sum will be EUR 17.3 million.

Finland is committed to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. 

This so-called Istanbul Convention calls for concrete measures to solve problems. Besides Nollalinja, also a committee for combating violence against women and domestic violence will start to operate from the start of 2017, as required by the Convention. 

The main task of the committee is to integrate the work carried out for combating violence against women, domestic violence and interpersonal violence. The aim is to enable early intervention by discussing violence more openly than today.

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