Victims of sexual violence in Papua New Guinea have now got access to a hotline that they can call for help 12 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the country.
The toll-free family and sexual violence hotline was launched yesterday in PNG's capital Port Morseby by ChildFund New Zealand.
It will be manned by professional counselors fluent in the three main languages - English, Motuan and Tok Pisin.
ChildFund New Zealand's Chief Executive, Paul Brown, says the hotline is an important first step in addressing an overwhelming problem.
"Two out of three women and girls in Papua New Guinea are estimated to experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. But over and above that we know there are plenty more women and children who witness violence or sexual abuse and that number has to come down too. So this hotline is a great first step to making sure that violence is eliminated from these communities."
Paul Brown says the service aims to get survivors through the immediate crisis, stabilise them emotionally, and provide options, information and referrals to local service providers to further assist them.
ChildFund New Zealand has collected over $US396 or $NZ600,000 dollars in charitable donations which has been matched with $US1.71 million dollars by the New Zealand Government's Aid Progamme to set up and maintain the sexual violence hotline for the next five years.