WAO also provides Covid-19 psychosocial support hot lines

KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): The Covid-19 psychosocial support hotlines provided by Mercy Malaysia and the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC), Ministry of Health Malaysia to provide emotional support to Malaysians during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period are also connected to the Women's Aid Organisation hotline (WAO).

The WAO hotlines on 03 7956 3488 or WhatsApp on 018-9888 058 were 24 hours enabled.

The WAO, in a statement here yesterday, said that in addition to the Covid-19 psychosocial support provided, callers were also given a third option if they wanted to speak with a crisis support officer from the organisation through an automated response system.

“Once connected, the WAO will provide advice on options available to victims of domestic violence and, if necessary, assist individuals who were in need of the protection of the police.

"The Covid-19 psychosocial support hotlines will enable us to help more victims of abuse who are facing a higher risk during the MCO," it said.

According to the WAO, 14 crisis support officers were active in handling the hotlines and it had also provided more manpower on standby in the event of increased calls and requests for help on domestic violence.

The statement said that in the first half of April, WAO received 264 calls and WhatsApp inquiries, a 111.2% increase over 125 WhatsApp inquiries in 14 days in February.

"Thus, the cooperation hotlines between the ministry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will further strengthen the response to the issue of domestic violence during the MCO," it said.

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