KATHMANDU, Dec 10: The toll-free helpline service launched by the National Women's Commission (NWC) to receive complaints from women victims has received overwhelmingly encouraging response.
As many as 1,275 victims lodged complaints with the NWC in the last eleventh months since the toll-free helpline came into operation. The number of complaints registered with the NWC in the previous fiscal year 2016/17 totaled to only 125.
With the help of the World Bank and various other organizations, the NWC had launched the 24-hour toll free helpline service on December 10, 2017 with the objective to enable the victims of gender-based violence to report their cases.
The NWC has been providing immediate response to all the complaints received, taking further action against the perpetrators of such violence with the help of concerned government authorities.
According to the NWC, altogether 846 complaints of gender-based violence were registered in the previous three fiscal years. With the launch of the 24-hour toll-free helpline, the number of complaints reached 1,275 in the eleven months of the current fiscal year alone.
Speaking at a function organized to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the toll free helpline in the capital on Sunday, member of the National Human Rights Commission and special guest of the program Mohna Ansari said that the government should listen and support the women's commission for effective results in gender-based violence .
Addressing the same function, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission Anup Raj Sharma said that both the number and types of violence against women have increased in the recent years. He complained that although several legislations have been formulated to curb such practices, they are not brought into effective implementation.
Data maintained by the NWC shows that 36% of the people who registered complaints with it were victims of emotional violence. While 29 percent complaints were related to violence related to finance, 25 percent other complaints were concerned with physical violence. The remaining 10 percent complaints were related to sexual violence.
Prior to the launch of the toll-free helpline, only some instances of such violence used to be reported with the NWC, officials said. Since the launch of the toll-free helpline assists victims report their cases without much hassles, the NWC has started receiving significantly higher number of complaints in the recent days.
Buoyed by the success of the toll-free helpline, the NWC is also planning to launch SMS service within this month. Currently, the NWC is working in partnership with various non-governmental organizations and government bodies including Nepal Police.