S.O.S HELPLINE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH 0800 1 2222 (FREE HELPLINE) JANUARY-JULY 2011
I was beaten, but I don’t have T-Home phone line to report it! IN 2011 20 CHILDREN REPORTED BEANIG BEATEN
The First Children Embassy in the world Megjashi is using the free SOS phone line for children and youth, given as a donation from Macedonian Telecommunications in the year 2005. But, this number gives the opportunity to receive free phone calls only from the landline phone users.
“All ideals of the world are subordinated to the tears of a child” was the message that the Firs Children Embassy in the world Megjashi referred on the yesterday’s press conference pointing out that in this year the trend of reporting cases by the adults for the violation of the children’s rights is continuing and increasing. Locating he problem in the institutions, the Embassy director Dragi Zmijanac and the psychologist Jana Zengovska unveil that the children are still silent and afraid to report the violence, especially when this violence is in their home and caused by their parents. Believing that beating is a common occurrence, according to the Megjashi statistics most of the reported cases of violence end up as premeditated which is a result from the pressure made by the violent parents.
-In terms of the cases we are most contacted by the citizens, most of the reported free SOS phone calls are related to domestic violence. Although Republic of Macedonia brought changes in the Family Law stating that any form of domestic violence is strongly forbidden, this year in a period of seven months we received 20 reports for violence. We had reports where the both parents daily mistreat their children because they were both alcohol addicts. During the divorce proceedings we received around 17 calls concerning the violations of the child’s rights. These problems are usually associated with the award of custody and not taking the child’s opinion into consideration with whom from the both parents the child wants to live, says the director Zmijanac, while appealing to the institutions to cooperate and coordinate better, to react in time and to take all necessary measures.
The material and financial help as well as the violence in the educational institutions and not taking care for the students are ranked down on the list, but in recent years they took a larger swing. According to them, children-victims of violence by adults is recorded in 5 cases, in which 4 are related to physical violence and 20% to psychological violence caused by unknown adults. Slightly fewer percentage but still worrisome for the authorities, are the reported 3 cases of sexual violence by the parents while the children’s fear in reporting the abuse in these cases is highest.
- From the collected statistics we come to the conclusion that the children are scared and feel powerless. We are aware that this numbers are not a benchmark for how much violence exists in the country. Just because of this fact, we appeal to the parents to be in constant communication with their children, and when it comes to child victims of physical and sexual violence than they need to be fostered. We do not have a place or a home for the victims to receive psycho-social help and support. It is necessary for the violator not to be removed but to be re-socialized, because this is one of the ways whit whom the cycle of violence can be braked.
19 years SOS phone 0800 1 2222
SOS Children phone 0800 1 2222 which is a direct service assistance and support for children, youth and their families, is running for 19 years and has 18.000 registered phone calls. With just one phone call children can receive help and information, advice from an expert, psycho-social support or simply talk about the problems they are facing. The principle of operation of the SOS phone consisted of talking with the callers about their problems, where operators don’t offer ready-made solutions to the problem but talk about possible alternatives for solving it. But the number, who plays the role of direct service support and help for the children and service of public interest, is still not financially supported by the state and instead of 24 hours this number works 12 hours, says Megjashi.
-SOS phones in most European countries are treated as a public interest and are considered as a need of citizens and states to take responsibility for their financial sustainability. We submitted a request and sincerely hope that we will continue to work half-time. But this is not the only issue that the Embassy is facing. Admitting that there are many obstacles in the way of functional and successful operation, the director Zmijanac reveals that priority is the harmonization of the SOS phone.
- The First Children Embassy in the world Megjashi is using the free SOS phone line for children and youth, given as a donation from Macedonian Telecommunications in the year 2005. But, this number gives the opportunity to receive free phone calls only from the landline phone users, says Zmijanac, while revealing that just because of this problem the Committee of Children Rights at the United Nations in Geneva, send a recommendation to the Government of Republic of Macedonia on the harmonization of our number to the other European lines.
Translated by Ivana Trajkovska
1. Children are unprotected and constantly exposed to violence and abused mostly from adults 2. The biggest number of charges concern problems in family (18,18%) where the family relations are disturbed 3. Children remain silent and endure violence. They rarely charge violence, because they are afraid, but those who do are usually close with the family, witnesses of the aggression children are exposed to 4. Only 8 children-victims of family violence were brave enough and report violence themselves.
1. Short description of the current work of the S.O.S helpline for children and youth
The S.O.S helpline for children and youth functions almost 19 years (since October 1993) and has registered more than 18 000 calls. The S.O.S phone line represents a service for direct help and support of children, youth and their families. With only one call, children may receive help and information, expert advice, psycho-social support or simply talk about the problems they face with.
The principle of working of the line is consisted of conversations with the caller about their problems, so that our operators do not immediately give complete solutions of the problem. It is talked about alternatives for solving the problem they have and the caller is helped to find their own solution of it.
On the free S.O.S helpline for children and youth, there are experts that work on: (pedagogue, psychologist, social worker and lawyer). In the activities there are also volunteers introduced, who are usually students at the Faculties of Pedagogy, Psychology, Law studies, Social Work. Those persons primarily conduct the conversations with contacts and are always in coordination and mentorship with the S.O.S helpline coordinator and the other services for direct help in the First Children Embassy in the World-Megjashi.
S.O.S helpline through numbers in its 19 years of functioning