Coded word/phrase to soon launch for victims to report abuse
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is working to establish a word or phrase that people can use to let family, friends or the police know that they are being abused or in danger.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud recognised that it will be a challenge to inform victims of what this code or phrase will be since efforts have to be made to keep it out of the public domain, especially from the abusers.
“We have to figure out how we are going to publicise it, because it is a tough thing when you publicise it.
“You want everyone to know this. At the same time, there are perpetrators who will know this too,” Minister Persaud explained.
In the meantime, the recently launched iMatter app comes with a 914-panic button and Minister Persaud is encouraging that users keep their location on.
“A simple hit of the panic button links you to 914 and if things are happening, people can hear you. You don’t have to dial anything and what we want to tell people, if you have downloaded the iMatter app, keep your location on so we can find you,” Minister Persaud revealed.
Meanwhile, the ministry will also put in place another option for persons to report abuse – a special WhatsApp complaint line.
Minister Persaud is appealing to women who contact the police to cooperate when help arrives. In several instances, when the police show up, the victim denies the abuse.
“If you make the call and the police comes to your home, use the help that’s there. It might be your only window to get out and we want you to get out.”
Friends or family members are also being urged to assist victims of abuse before it is too late.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late. And don’t say that, you know, you’ve seen it you’ve heard and you wish you did something after the fact we see a lot of that kind of guilt and regret,” Minister Persaud said.
The ministry has launched the Every Child Safe campaign and the Community Advocates Network to help curb the scourge of domestic violence.
The minister explained that with more hands-on board, the faster “we will be able to eradicate domestic violence.”