Singapore

Aware extends hours for helpline

The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) has extended the operating hours of its Women's Helpline service from 3pm to 9.30pm to 10am to 6pm on weekdays, starting yesterday.

Singapore's first helpline for women in crisis, it provides emotional support, psycho-education, referrals for assistance and legal information.

The helpline saw a 32 per cent increase in calls, from 3,071 in 2017 to 4,062 last year.

Throughout the year, the helpline assisted with marital issues (23 per cent), abuse and violence (19 per cent) and emotional and psychological distress (17 per cent).

This increase corresponds with a 48 per cent increase of first-time callers seeking counselling from Aware's Women's Care Centre in the same period.

Aware's Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC) Helpline has also begun operating under new hours to reflect more efficient use of the centre's resources.

It will now run from 10am to 10pm, Monday to Friday.

"Asking for help can be intimidating," said Ms Anisha Joseph, Aware's head of Care services.

"But the increase in calls over the last year shows that more women are feeling safe to do so."

Those seeking support or information can contact the Women's Helpline on 1800-777-5555 and the SACC Helpline on 6779-0282.

They can WhatsApp 9781-4101, e-mail aware@aware.org.sg or go to www.aware.org.sg

They can also visit the Aware headquarters at Block 5 Dover Crescent, #01-22, Singapore 130005.

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