016 – New Confidential Telephone Helpline in Spain
This weekend the Spanish government presented a new confidential 24 hour telephone helpline for victims of domestic violence. The helpline has actually been up and running since the 3rd September and has already received 445 calls. The number to call is 016 and it won’t appear on the telephone’s last dialled number or on the bill.
Soledad Murillo, the General Secretary of the government’s Equality Policy team and Encarnación Orozco who represents the government in its campaign against violence against women both said that victims of gender violence needed a 24 hour helpline operating 365 days a year. Murillo pointed out that battered women often don’t want to go through the lengthy process of filing a formal complaint and that the new 016 helpline was aimed a assisting these women by assessing their situation and informing them of their rights.
Murillo also emphasised that it would always be the decision of the victim whether to file an official compliant or not.
She also said that the helpline was not only aimed at the victims of gender violence but also at friends, neighbours or relatives so that they could be informed about how best to help such people.
The government advertisement for the new 016 helpline shows a black screen with a cardiogram on it showing a heartbeat which suddenly stops and then you can hear a dialling tone followed by a voice saying ‘For this never to happen again call 016 at the first sign of abuse. The telephone number 016 can change lives.