Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Woman Inc seeks to resolve phone woes

Published:Friday | November 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Woman Inc notes with concern and alarm the letter captioned 'Save our girls', from Tamry, published in your newspaper on Monday, November 14, 2016. Our organisation has been working assiduously for more than 30 years to do just that - save and empower our Jamaican women and girls. We currently run the only temporary shelter and 24-hour hotline for persons in crisis from domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence in Jamaica and we take our work very seriously.

We have reached out and tried to contact Tamry, via the published email address, to advise her and to offer assistance regarding the specific situation of which she wrote, yet we still are awaiting a response from her.

It is most unfortunate that at the time of her call a hotline worker was not available and we want to reassure Jamaica that this is an anomaly. The hotline is only one telephone line and, unfortunately, if the hotline worker is assisting someone else with their crisis, he or she is unable to answer other incoming calls. This appears to have been the case here.

Reflecting on this situation - although our voice message generally provides sufficient information and guidance, the voicemail system has not functioned properly for some time and the telephone company cannot assure us as to when (and, in fact, if) the service will be restored.

As a voluntary organisation, we face severe challenges periodically and current technical nuances do not allow for a second hotline which might provide more immediate direct and personal service. Despite this, we stand ready to serve as we always have, since inception in 1985, and strive to give the best service possible to all Jamaicans who call in their hour of need.

Woman Inc reminds the nation that apart from our 24-hour hotline number 929-2997, we offer walk-in counselling at our crisis centres at 4 Ellesmere Road, Kingston, and at 4 Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.

We know that the situation for our women and girls in Jamaica is currently quite dire as a result of violent acts against them. Therefore, we call on all Jamaica to join us and help fight this major scourge upon society.