Rights-based Education, Hotlines, and Crisis Centers
Including provision for educating women about their options and their rights when they have been victims of violence is an important piece of any legislation on violence against women. Education and counseling often are integrated into shelters providing housing for victims, into medical centers providing treatment, or into one-stop service centers. (See Awareness-Raising and Education section)
- Legislation should require a free, 24 hour hotline that is accessible from anywhere in the country and staffed by persons trained in counseling those who have experienced violence. (See: Crisis Centers and Hotlines, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights)
- Legislation should mandate a crisis center for every 50,000 population, with trained staff to provide support, legal advice, and crisis intervention counseling for all complainants/survivors, including specialized services for particularly vulnerable groups. (See: UN Handbook, 3.6.1; and Crisis Centers and Hotlines, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights)
- Italy’s Law n. 38/2009 designated 1,000,000 Euros to the “national hotline for victims of persecution,” which is active twenty-four hours a day, with the aim to provide counseling and legal advice from staff with appropriate skills and to contact the police promptly in cases of urgency. See: Arts. 12, 13.
- Japan’s Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims provides for the establishment of Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Centers which provide victims with counseling, referrals, emergency safety planning, self-reliance promotion, shelter information, and information about the protection order system.