“SOS LINE FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE”
During this year we initiated and completed, with support of the RS Gender Center, approval of a short four-digit number - 1264 - for all SOS lines in the RS. This single SOS line was a result of two years of our work, which commenced with our first request to RS Telecom in August 18th, 2004, thus all organizations engaged into this activity including “Lara” from Bijeljina, “Association of women” Banja Luka and “Buducnost” Modrica have a single number.
With the goal of obtaining a single humanitarian number our organization was in continuous communication and negotiations with the Regulatory agency and RS Telecom. SOS line began to function in March 15th, 2005 owing to support of the UK Embassy. Also, help was obtained by dialing the number 059 260 026 (we reiterate that this connection was free of charge). Following several month-long negotiations, we requested help from the RS Gender center and following our communication No. I-47/05 dated April 6th, 2005, which contributed to the finalization and award of the short four-digit number- 1264 - for all SOS lines intended for victims of domestic violence in the RS. Between NGO “Lara” from Bijeljina, “Associated women” Banja Luka and “Buducnost” Modrica, service providers and RS Gender center, which coordinates the work and further development of the SOS line, a Memorandum on cooperation and understanding was signed, June 10th, 2005, which defined the rights and obligations of signatories of this Memorandum.
During 2005 this line transmitted only 16 calls, which indicates that additional time, effort and persistence from our organization was needed for this, completely novel type of providing support in our area, to be understood and adopted.
Upon proposal from the RS Gender center, forms were created to provide records of a unique statistical database on the RS level. Owing to good communication with almost all institutions and organizations in the region of East Herzegovina, posters promoting the SOS line were distributed and exposed in all medical institutions, police stations, schools, kindergartens, welfare centers and large companies which mainly employ women.
The SOS line does not have continuous financial support. To date, financial assistance, amounting 3000 KM was obtained only from the RS Ministry of Governance and Local Self-Governance.