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Victims of abuse need not suffer in silence, help is here

Victims are encouraged to break cycle of violence by alerting authorities

Gulf News

Dubai: If you are a victim of domestic violence and abuse, you do not have to suffer in silence. There are many institutions in the UAE that are just a phone call away to help end the violence and offer you protection.

Domestic violence, or abuse perpetrated by a family member, scars a person inside out. It often happens behind closed doors and is kept secret from the other members of the family.

The first step a victim can take to liberate herself from violence is to decide to seek professional help. In Dubai, police said that women subjected to domestic violence may call the Dubai police Al Ameen service at 800 4888.

They may also seek help from the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) through its 24-hour helpline at 800 111 or by sending an SMS to 5111. The centre has a shelter that provides counselling, psychotherapy, case management and legal consultation for free.

“If you know someone who may be the target of domestic violence, encourage them to seek professional advice. Our helpline is anonymous and our mission is to provide free assistance for all victims of domestic violence,” said Afra Al Basti, CEO of DFWAC.

“When a family member is abused, it can have long-term destructive effects on the victim as well as the rest of the family,” she added.

The Social Support Centre in Abu Dhabi, which is operated by the Abu Dhabi Police, assists victims of all crimes – especially women, children and their families. They provide psychological and social support in collaboration with other foundations and organisations.

Victims in Sharjah may seek help from Qawarir, a centre that provides shelter, emotional support, legal and social aid to vulnerable Emirati women.

Abused children need not fear or feel alone in their fight as the UAE government ensures their protection. The recently passed draft law called Wudeema’s Law, named after an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was tortured to death by her father, seeks to regulate and guarantee children’s rights and protection.

The draft law provides that every child, regardless of origin, nationality, religion or social status, has the right to a secure life, permanent care and emotional and psychological stability.