Serbia got a national SOS hot line for women victims of violence on Friday with officials saying it will not be just a call centre but would provide full support to battered women.
Assistant Labour, Veterans’ and Social Affairs Minister Suzana Misic said the operators at the SOS hot line would assess whether the victims who call in can take steps themselves or whether they need someone to do it for them. According to Misic, the victims are most often less educated women who are financially dependent on others.
She said the operating of the SOS line (0800 222 003) would cost an annual 12 million Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars).
Minister Zoran Djordjevic said the SOS line is financed by the Belgrade city authorities and the ministry, adding that the ministry will be able to provide funding once the law on social security is changed.
He said that the line would operate 24/7 all year long with eight employees at present. He said the operators have had some training and all have years of experience working with others and are licenced. He warned that they would also need security.
All calls will be recorded but access to the calls can only be granted to courts, the minister said.