NAT STOCK CHILD ABUSE-1610780033820
The number of complaints related to child rescue amounted to about 1,362, with 95 urgent reports and 1,267 non-urgent reports. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Sharjah: The Child Abuse helpline 800700 is a life line for many children in Sharjah. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, professional crisis counsellors through interpreters provide ready assistance to those who need it in both Arabic and English.

The helpline offers crisis intervention, information, literature and referrals to hundreds of emergency, social service and support resources. And all calls are confidential.

Employees at the call centre of the child helpline work in three shifts, which start at 7am. Also, there are a number of social workers including social specialists, legal specialist and psychological specialists whose intervention is key to resolving issues.

Maha Mansour Al Ali, Director of Government Communications, said the social services department call centre received 21,649 calls; included 10,155 calls related to child abuse, and general calls, consultations, inquiries and reports. As many as 134 psychological, social, legal and health consultations and 3,667 inquiries were clocked. The number of complaints related to child rescue amounted to about 1,362, with 95 urgent reports and 1,267 non-urgent reports.

Cases include abuse, violence, physical abuse and neglect, school problems, economic problems, homelessness, commercial exploitation, health, psychological and mental problems, family breakdown etc.

Abuse of women

Maha said the centre received 975 calls for protection of abused women. They included cases of social, psychological and legal counselling or reporting of abuse, with solutions being worked out through legal, social and psychology specialists.

The centre also received 4,220 calls related to home care services for the elderly and disabled people. The calls included consultations, general inquiries, requests for home visits, flu vaccinations or home COVID-19 screening requests, as well as reporting of abuse, disability or psychiatric cases, registration of an elderly in home nursing services and remote referral of medical services, physiotherapy or rehabilitation

As many as 633 calls were received for volunteering.